71 elected representatives in the East Maharashtra district have resigned from their posts, apparently due to Naxal threat.
Talking to reporters in Gadchiroli on Wednesday evening, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gadchiroli Zilla Parishad (ZP) Sumant Bhange said 71 elected representatives have resigned in the last one month.
Of these representatives, one is Zilla Parishad member, four Panchayat Samiti members and 66 village Panchayat members, he said.
While he did not elaborate on the reason behind the mass resignations, sources said that the public representatives have done so under pressure from the Naxals who have pockets of influence in Gadchiroli, the worst Maoist-affected district in Maharashtra, which saw a major Naxal attack in March in which a dozen CRPF personnel were killed.
Maoists had warned the elected representatives to give up their posts or face dire consequences. Naxals had kidnapped a former ZP member from Etapalli taluka last month.
Earlier, they killed a senior NCP leader from Etapalli in broad daylight. In the past, Maoists have kidnapped several village sarpanches. Some were killed and others were released after warning by the extremists.