Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leaders mum on Naxalite issue

KUMUD JENAMANI
Jamshedpur, April 13: During election season, politicians usually take up issues concerning voters. But this summer, they have learnt to skirt the major one: Naxalism.

Irrespective of parties, candidates are engaged in mud-slinging while campaigning, but no one has had the guts to utter the N-word during hectic tours.

Arjun Munda, Suman Mahto, Arvind Singh and Shailendra Mahto, the candidates for BJP, JMM, JVM(P) and Ajsu, respectively, from Jamshedpur have been visiting villages, but with a word of caution.

“Naxalism is very much an issue, but candidates are refraining from making a reference because they fear reprisal if they unknowingly stir up a hornet’s nest,” said a close aide of Suman.

Shailendra had been to the villages of Maoist-hit Dumaria in Ghatshila sub-division yesterday. He said: “Gaon vaale yaha sab sunna nahin chahte. Isliye, hum bhi yaha sab par bolna nahin chahenge (The villagers are not ready to hear anything on Naxalites, therefore I would not like to touch the issue).”

Suman, the sitting MP, whose husband Sunil Mahto was killed by Naxalites in Baguria, near Ghatshila, two years ago, remained silent on the issue. Suman even has not visited Baguria. One of her aides said that she would never go to Baguria. “If she visits Baguria, Suman will have to use venomous words against the rebels — the killers of her husband — and take oath for taking revenge of the killing. And if she makes any adverse comment against the Maoists, it may jeopardise her life,” he said.

Former chief minister Munda, despite getting a Z-plus category security cover, is not daring to utter anything against the Naxalites. Similar is the situation with other contestants.

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