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Top Maoist leader's wife wants to join politics in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Subhasree Das, the wife of Odisha's most wanted Maoist leader Sabhyasachi Panda, has expressed interest in joining electoral politics.

"After talking to people, I have decided to join mainstream politics," Panda said yesterday at a meeting of Jan Mancha, Odisha, a platform she has floated after release from jail.

"Politics is not new to our family. I was born in a political family and my father-in-law was also in politics," she said referring to late Ramesh Chandra Panda who was elected to the Odisha Assembly as a communist candidate.

CRPF jawans target Maoists. Agencies.

"Therefore the Panda family has some support in Ranpur area of Nayagarh district," Subhshree, who was born in Puri district, said.

Asked whether she was creating field for her Maoist husband to return to tghe mainstream after surrendering, Subhasree said "I do not know whether he will surrender. But, I will contest the next polls."

She said her focus would be to fight corruption and the spread of liquor. Subhasree was earlier arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in January 2010. She spent about two years in jail till the Orissa High Court acquitted her in October 2011.

She was, however, booked in other cases and put behind bars and released when her husband was holding two Italian nationals hostage in February 2012.

"I was released as per court order. The hostage crisis has nothing to do with my release," Panda said.

The meeting was attended by former finance minister Panchanan Kanungo and Jan Adhikar Manch leader and Maoist mediator Dandapani Mohanty.

PTI