As the first phase of voting nears in Chhattisgarh, CM Raman Singh began his campaign from the Maoist-infested Sukna on Saturday. 18 Maoist-hit constituencies will vote on 12th November in the first phase where as many as 190, including Singh will be in the fray.
Sukma district is the part of the ‘red corridor’, a belt affected by the Naxal-Maoist insurgency where there have been constant attacks on politicians as well as police and other security forces. Yesterday, four CRPF jawans were killed in a major IED blast which took place after Maoists opened fire at them.
After massive actions by state and central security forces, Left-wing terrorism in Chhattisgarh has been driven almost to its end point. There have been numerous encounter operations against Naxals by CRPF and the state units in the state. In August this year, 14 Naxals were gunned down by security personnel in an encounter and weapons were discovered.
Over and above that, the central government has also been pushing infrastructure development in the Naxal affected zones which have not only brought an increasing number of villagers and tribals to the mainstream but also has helped weed out Naxalism from the root.
More and more Naxals have been surrendering seeking protection and a normal life. A holistic developmental agenda with roads, schools, connectivity and accessibility to healthcare in Naxal dominated areas has brought positive results in the state. This year in May, 44 districts were removed from the list of Left Wing Terrorism affected areas.
Chattisgarh CM Raman Singh had recently announced that the Naxals will have only two options, either they will leave extremism and surrender or they will be finished by the security forces. The Home Minister had announced that Chattisgarh will soon get its own specialised anti-Naxal unit ‘Black Panthers’ in the line of the ‘Greyhound’ units of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Chhattisgarh is slated to go to the polls in two phases. The first phase of election will cover 18 constituencies in eight Naxal-affected districts – Bastar, Kanker, Sukma, Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, and Rajnandgaon and the remaining districts will go to polls on November 20.