MUMBAI: Three days after the Maoists gunned down local Congress leader Alam, all candidates from a taluk in the Naxal-affected Gadchiroli in Maharashtra withdrew their nominations for the forthcoming panchayat polls. All the five candidates, who had filed their nominations for local self-government polls from Korchi taluk, had withdrawn their nominations.
This is a setback for the political parties and administration, which had been striving hard for the last several months to create an atmosphere to ensure free and fair elections in the Naxal-affected regions of the state. The election in Gadchiroli was planned in two phases.
The Maoists had called for a boycott of the elections and distributed pamphlets warning the candidates of not to engage in campaigning for the polls. The killing of Congress leader was the last straw for the candidates, who are living under the shadow of Naxal terror.
Alam was gunned down by the Maoists’ Quick Action Team on January 28, the day he was supposed to file his nominations. His murder had also dampened the poll campaign. Nandu Narate from Adivasi Vidyarthi Sangh and Independent candidate Ramdas Harami, have withdrawn their nominations.