Panchayat poll catches them young

The scale of opulence on display in student union elections may have gone down after the JM Lyngdoh committee recommendations in 2006 to keep political parties off the campus, but many under-graduate and post-graduate students are still taking a plunge into mainstream electoral politics. In the three-tier panchayat elections this year, several such students are in the fray.

Given the option, any other girl of her age and qualification, and most importantly living in a Maoist inflicted zone, would have chosen a secured career against politics. But post graduate student Jayanti Buruda of Malkangiri, one of the highly-Naxal infested districts, is a contestant for the zilla parishad post of Malkangiri zone-1. While even seasoned politicians skip electioneering in Malkangiri due to fear of Maoists, the rebel presence has failed to deter the determination of the tribal girl. Jayanti is campaigning for the election as a seasoned politician. She has been addressing public meetings and has been campaigning door-to-door. “Though five out of the seven panchayats of my area are Maoist-hit, I have never received any threat from the Naxals. I don’t thing think there is any reason for the Maoists to oppose me as I want to work for the development of my people without any ill-motive,” she said.

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