The leader of the party's Bansadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali division who called himself Umakant has termed political parties like the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party anti-people.

In an audio message released to the media, the leader has urged the voters of four southern districts namely Koraput, Rayagada, Kalahandi and Kandhamal to observe a shutdown in their respective areas where balloting will be held on April 10.

He also accused BJD government of exploiting the poor, downtrodden and innocent tribals and handing over their lands, forest, water and mineral wealth to the corporates.

People must unseat this party from power, the rebel leader said. Last week, police seized several anti-election posters allegedly put up by the rebels in Rayagada district.

Maoists are active in more than half of the state and the area where they have called a shutdown is considered their stronghold.

Odisha has asked the Central Government to provide three choppers and additional security forces for conducting free and fair polls in the Maoist-affected areas. Polling for 21 Lok Sabha seats from Odisha and the 147-member state assembly would be simultaneously held April on 10 and 17.

(Agencies)

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