It is encouraging that 67 per cent of polling was recorded in eight naxal-affected districts of Chhattisgarh, asserting the power of democracy (Nov.12). This will go a long way in boosting the morale of voters. It is the clearest indication yet that people believe in the power of democracy. In view of these facts and evidence that people are for peace and prosperity, it is prudent if naxal leaders join the mainstream, bidding farewell to guns and violence.
An impressive voter turnout in the Maoist-dominated regions of Chhattisgarh in the first phase of polls holds important lessons for the political class and Maoist leaders alike. By ignoring threats from Maoists for a poll boycott, the people have sent out a clear message. The political class should now work tirelessly to improve the livelihood of people. By addressing palpable socio-economic deprivation through time-bound and effective measures, insurgency can be wiped out.
Keywords: Chhattisgarh polls