Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tough going for former naxals

Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao

Maoist rebels, who gave up their armed struggle and joined the mainstream, have been elected to local mandal parishads and zilla parishads, but have not been able to make it to the State Assembly or Parliament so far.

A commander of the Janashakthi naxal group, Danasari Anasuya alias Sitakka, secured a ticket for the Mulug (ST) Assembly seat from the Telugu Desam Party in the 2004 election, but lost to Congress candidate Podem Veeraiah. She is once again trying to get the ticket, but faces tough competition from within the party. Komalla Seshagiri Rao alias Gopanna, a senior Maoist cadre, surrendered along with his wife Manjula alias Swarnakka some time ago. They joined the Congress party and subsequently, Manjula was elected as Zilla Parishad Territorial Committee (ZPTC) member. Both are now in Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), trying for the Palakurthy Assembly ticket. Mr. Rao is also seeking a ticket from film star Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party as well.

Another top Maoist leader, Gade Innaiah, who lost a hand in a bomb blast, has also failed to make it in politics. He first joined the TRS and then left to join the Talli Telangana Party floated by Telugu film heroine Vijaya Shanthi. Ms. Vijaya Shanti has now merged her party with the TRS leaving Mr. Innaiah in the lurch. A former naxal commander, Saraiah Mudiraj joined the Congress soon after his surrender. He tried to get the Parkal Assembly ticket, but failed.

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