Bastar MP Baliram Kashyap denies links with Maoists
Prasanna Mohanty | April 14, 2010
Former chief minister and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh’s assertion that the BJP got the support of the Maoists in winning elections seems contrary to the facts, at least in the case of Bastar (Jagdalpur) MP Baliram Kashyap.
Singh wrote in an article in The Economic Times on April 14 that “the sitting MP from Jagdalpur, a BJP veteran, was supported by Maoists in the elections for a consideration, and when he failed to fulfill his commitment, his house was attacked by the Maoists—resulting in the death of one of the MP’s sons, while another one was seriously injured.”
This is has been strongly refuted by the member of parliament from Bastar. Speaking to the Governance Now, Kashyap said: “Digvijay Singh has gone mad. I never had any relations with the Maoists. Neither in the past nor now.
Kashyap’s version is supported not only by newspaper reports of the time (September 2009) and the local journalists, but also by the Director-General of Police, Chhattisgarh, Vishwa Ranjan. The DGP said: “There was always a threat to the MP from the Maoists. He was the 'class enemy'.”
The DGP also pointed out that Kashyap not only supported the Salwa Judum, a movement against the Maoists, but also was very vocal against the Maoists.
The attack on Baliram Kashyap's family took place on September 26, 2009 in his ancestral village Piraguda in Bastar district. He and his family had gone to the village for the Durga Puja celebrations
A CNN-IBN report of September 29, 2009, described the incident thus: “Four suspected Maoists gunned down Baliram Kashyap's son Tansen, while another son Dinesh was critically injured in the firing. However, the MP who was the prime target of the rebels escaped unhurt.
“Baliram Kashyap, a four-term MP and his family members have been on the hit-list of the Maoists, mainly for their open support to a controversial government-backed civil militia movement Salwa Judum, a programnme launched in June 2005 to flush out the Maoists from the state's mineral rich Bastar region where the Leftist radicals have held sway since the late 1980s.”
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