HYDERABAD: The recent ‘encounter’ killings and Maoist retaliation by torching TSRTC buses have again instilled fear into politicians living in Maoist-affected districts, particularly the Agency areas. Representatives of political parties, especially TRS leaders, are moving to safer places. With ruling party leaders being more vulnerable to attacks from the extremists, local leaders might either flee from their villages for some time or refrain from taking active part in promoting or implementing government schemes with less than a year for the elections to go.
According to sources, intelligence agencies have alerted local public representatives to either restrict their movements or leave the villages and to alert the local police about their movements so that they can be provided protection. MLAs and MPs might shift to the state capital Hyderabad but the mandal and village level leaders can not just keep away from their respective places for long and they might become soft targets.
“A sarpanch or an MPP is the one who is in constant touch with people and the ruling party is of the view that they would play a key role in taking the government’s schemes, be it the Rs 4,000 farm subsidy scheme of the two-bedroom house programme, to the people effectively. With the local leaders under shadow of fear in coming days, it is to be seen whether they will take an active part in meeting people and reaching out to Agency areas,’’ a ruling party leader said.
At the height of Naxalite movement, local leaders were under such pressure they resigned from the party and even kept away from politics fearing Naxal backlash. This fear is not only confined to ruling party leaders but also those who are on the hit-list of Maoists. A Congress leader from Cherla mandal, N Durga Prasad, who is one such leader, told Express that he was moving to Bhadrachalam for safety reasons.