Polling In Chhattisgarh As Per Schedule: Officials After Maoist Attack

Attack on BJP convoy in Dantewada Chhattisgarh

Attack on BJP convoy in Dantewada Chhattisgarh

On the last day of campaigning for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in Chhattisgarh, BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and four security personnel were killed in an attack on their convoy by Naxals in Dantewada district.

According to police, BJP MLA from Dantewada Bheema Mandavi and four personnel of District Force (DF), deployed in security of the MLA, were killed in the powerful IED blast executed by ultras. Devti, wife of Mahendra Karma who was killed in a Maoist attack in Jhiram Valley in 2013, earlier defeated Mandavi by almost 6,000 votes.

Mandavi was the lone Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Bastar region which accounts for 12 Assembly seats.

Attacks on Indian forces by jungle-based Maoist units are frequent and often deadly in Chhattisgarh, a poor and restive state. "The sacrifices of these martyrs will not go in vain", the PM tweeted.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel cancelled his election meetings and rushed to his office for a meeting with senior police and intelligence officers after the attack. Shri Bhima Mandavi was a dedicated Karyakarta of the BJP.

"All the killed security personnel are from District Reserve Group", an official told news agency IANS. Diligent and courageous, he assiduously served the people of Chhattisgarh.

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The state unit of the BJP also reacted angrily to the killing and alleged that state's new Congress regime has a nexus with the Maoists.

"His demise is deeply anguishing. I'll go to Dantewada and meet families of deceased", he said.

In his report to the poll panel, Mr Sahu said he has "taken an immediate video conference of collectors and SPs (superintendents of police) of the affected districts covering Phase 1 and phase 2 in Chhattisgarh".

Dantewada has a clear and present danger from Naxals and has seen attacks in the past as well.

Chhattisgarh will vote on 11, 18 and 23 April and Dantewada will vote on 11 April.

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