BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi
BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi along with four security personnel were killed in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada on Tuesday. The incident occurred at Shyamagiri hills when the MLA's convoy was heading towards Kuwakonda from Bacheli area. The Maoists blew up a vehicle in the convoy with an IED and opened fire at the occupants. The MLA and four security personnel were killed in the attack, police officials said.
Following the attack, security forces have been dispatched to the incident site. The attack has taken place just two days before the first phase of Lok Sabha election is scheduled to take in Chhattisgarh. Dantewada, where the attack has taken place, falls in the Bastar Lok Sabha seat which will go to polls in the first phase on April 11.
Abhishek Pallav, SP of Dantewada said the BJP MLA was advised by the police not to visit the area. After the attack, firing from both sides continued for half an hour. There were five more security personnel in a car following the BJP MLA's car.
The polling in Chhattisgarh will be held in first three phases — April 11, 18 and 23. The state has a total of 11 Parliamentary constituencies.
Mandavi won the assembly elections held November last year by more than 2,000 votes against Congress's candidate Devati Karma, wife of the slain Congress leader Mahendra Karma.
Karma has been a sharp critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not "doing enough for the Maoist-hit region". Karma proved her political mettle in the 2013 Assembly elections by defeating Mandavi by a margin of 5,900 votes.
The BJP won this seat in the 2008 Assembly elections with a margin of 12,008 votes (12.41%), registering 38.06% of the total votes polled.