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Archive for June 14th, 2009

People’s Truth: The Elections in Chhattisgarh

Posted by n3wday on June 14, 2009

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This article was published on People’s Truth.

ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS IN CHATTISGARH—

A Fraud of Himalayan dimensions

The reactionary ruling classes had once again enacted their routine drama of elections to state assemblies in the months of November-December 2008. In Chattisgarh the drama was enacted in two phases—on Nov 14 and 20. The reasons given by the election commission for conducting the polls in two phases were: to muster enough forces for ensuring security to the polling personnel, transport of EVMs to and from the polling booths and to confront the “threat” from the Maoists who had issued a call for election boycott. In most of the Maoist stronghold areas in the state i.e., in 39 of the 90 Assembly constituencies, the polls were held on November 14.

The entire state, particularly the Bastar range, was turned into a war zone with rifle-wielding policemen and central forces present everywhere while helicopters made incessant rounds over the forest terrain of the state. Polling personnel were transported to the polling stations by air in most of the Maoist stronghold areas, and they, along with the EVMs, were brought back after the polling in the same way. 40 helipads were constructed for the purpose. In several places re polling was held twice and at some places, even thrice, as they did not dare to venture into some interior areas or because Maoist guerrillas took away the EVMs. Overall, the entire exercise seemed more like a war exercise than the so-called electoral exercise; it was a war of bullets than a war of the ballot. All in all, around 50,000 troops were deployed in the 39 constituencies on Nov 14. Besides the 16 CRPF Battalions, two SSB Battalions, one Mizo Battalion and one STF Battalion (20 Battalions in total) that were already engaged against the Maoist movement on a permanent basis, an additional 40 Battalions i.e., 40,000 personnel belonging to CRPF, BSF and CISF were deployed for conducting the election fraud. Needless to say, it was an election at gun-point. According to media reports 350 companies of central forces were sent this time as against 125 companies during the last Assembly elections. The break-up of the deployed forces was as follows:

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