Malkangiri: About 50 people’s representatives from the Maoist hotbed Kalimela block in Odisha`s Malkangiri district resigned en-mass on Monday in protest against lack of development in the tribal-dominated areas.
"We have submitted our resignation at the office of the Kalimela block development officer as the district administration has failed to keep its promises," said Deba Madhi, the chairperson of Kalimela block.
Besides Madhi, block vice-chairman Chaitanya Choudhury, many panchayat samiti members, gram panchayat sarpanchs and ward members also resigned.
The local peoples represntatives had earlier demanded immediate construction of an irrigation canal between Manyakanda and Karkatapalli, drinking water, health service, education facilities, BPL cards for all poor and proper distribution of free houses under Indira Awas Yojana.
Madhi said a delegation of peoples represntatives were earlier assured by the district administration that the government would soon take up construction of the canal. "Though two months have passed no work has started for the canal," Madhi said.
Malkangiri district collector M Muthukar said he had heard of the incident but had not received any resignation letter.
"The government will certainly take steps and discourage them from resigning," he said.
While the peoples representatives have denied any pressure from Maoists to resign, police said some of the local leaders irrespective of their party affiliations were asked to quit as they failed to implement the canal project.