March 8: The fear of Maoists hanging like a sword, the CPM has drawn up campaign guidelines for candidates on rebel turf that include VIP-like secrecy over their travel plans and human shields.
CPM leaders of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia have warned party workers that the rebels might prey on candidates to disrupt the elections and trigger panic.
After the guerrillas killed Kartik Singha and Gatilal Tudu at Lalgarh in West Midnapore and Barikul in Bankura earlier this week, the party discussed the candidates' threat perception for two days.
'It is now clear that the Maoists will target more of our members. We have asked our leaders in the Maoist-dominated areas to chalk out a strategy to protect the candidates,' said Dahareswar Sen, a member of the party's West Midnapore secretariat.
The leadership has short-listed 11 constituencies where party workers would be on high alert ' Binpur, Salboni, Garbeta East and West in West Midnapore, Ranibandh and Raipur in Bankura and Bandwan, Manbazar, Arsha, Joypur and Jhalda in Purulia.
CPM leaders in the war zone now openly admit that they have little faith in police. 'We have had a bitter experience with them. Our candidates, for example Deblina Hembram of Ranibandh, are on their hit list. Our supporters will protect them,' Patra said.