Daltonganj (Jharkhand), Nov 30 (ANI): After waging a war from the forests, Maoist rebels have joined mainstream politics and are contesting this year's assembly election in Jharkhand.
At least six rebels are in the poll fray.
The rebels say they have given up arms for votes to continue their fight for people's rights.
"For long time, I'd fought for the rights of the people from the forests. Today, I've ventured into the city. I will fight here as well. If the people elect me, and if I'm not able to fulfil the people's demands, then I have no right to represent them in the state assembly," said Satibh Kumar, a former Maoist rebel and candidate from Daltonganj.
"They had picked up arms for the benefit of the poor, but today, their thought process has changed, and if they feel that they should work democratically and help the people then it is a good thing," said historian Satyanarayan Naate.
Thousands have been killed during the Maoist insurgency, which began in the late 1960s, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoist threat one of the gravest homegrown threats to India's internal security.
The rebels claim they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers. (ANI)