In spite of heightened naxalite threat, villagers, mostly dominated by tribal communities, have set an example in Telangana by recording over 90% polling in the Maoist stronghold villages in the interior Mahadevpur, Kataram and Mahamutharam mandals adjoining the Chhattisgarh in the erstwhile Karimnagar district, now in Jayashankar-Bhupalapalli district.
Braving the Maoist call for poll boycott, people formed serpentine queues to exercise their franchise in the naxalite affected villages abutting the forests of the Manthani Assembly segment. The Election Commission restricted the polling timings from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Manthani Assembly segment because of naxalite presence.
The interior villages of Mahadevpur mandal, which had attained dubious distinction for naxalite violence, recorded more than 90% polling. A village notorious for naxalite Pedampeta recorded a whopping 98 per cent polling with 382 votes being cast against the total of 389 votes. The villages in this mandal were known for the landmine blast killing Punjab commandos in the early 90s, abduction and murder of former Assembly speaker D. Sripad Rao, landmine blast killing polling personnel on election duties, blowing up of government offices, forest guest houses, killing of informers and also a vain bid to blast Mahadevpur police station and also incidents of exchange of fires.
Incidentally, the Pankena and Palmela villages which were infamous for the naxalite violence acts had reported 93.3%and 93.19% respectively. The Palgula village recorded 95%, Ambetpalli 90.85% etc. The high incidence of polling percentage in the naxalite affected villages had been attributed to the declining faith in naxalites and the villagers welcoming the developmental programmes in their village, say the police sources.