Ranchi: Jonika Gudiya, 25, wife of a top commander of a Maoist splinter group, was elected chief of Zila Parishad in Khunti district, in a landslide victory on Thursday. Jonika, personally, has no Left-wing extremism background and depends on farming at Torpa, her village, for living.
Happily married to Jidan Gudiya, second-in-command of Maoist breakaway faction People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), Jonika got seven of the 10 votes cast by members of Zila Parishad. There are speculations she might have tacit support of her powerful husband. However, Khunti SP Anish Gupta said, no complaint of threat of inducement from her rival was reported.
Now Jonika will work shoulder to shoulder with top authorities in district administration and police, which ironically, have cast a wide net to catch her husband carrying Rs 10 lakh cash reward on his head. Jidan Gudiya, SP Anish Gupta claimed, is in-charge of PLFI in West Singhbhum, Khunti, Gumla and Simdega and responsible for most of the murders and attacks on police PLFI have been carrying out in different parts of Jharkhand.
PLFI is second most powerful and largest LWE outfit after CPI (Maoist) in Jharkhand. The personal life of Jidan Gudiya, who lives mostly underground, is not well documented in police records. On the basis of bits and pieces about his life that police have managed to gather, SP Anish Gupta said, “He had a love marriage with her a few years ago. The marriage was solemnized at a secret location unknown to authorities. They are not separated as the woman in forms writes Jidan Gudiya is her husband.”
Jonika said the district needs a lot of development. “I will bring development on the ground to change people’s life,” Jonika told press after receiving victory certificate from Khunti deputy commissioner Prasad Krishna Waghmare. On her personal life, Jonika did not like to comment. Quoting her a police officer said the woman does not have any idea about her husband’s whereabouts. “She claims he does not visit her,” a police officer said quoting her.
Khunti Zila Parishad has 10 members. All of whom voted to elect its president among two candidates – Jonika and Indu Mati Devi. After the votes were counted in the presence of neutral observers Jonika got seven and Indu three votes. Jonika won a rural poll unopposed in the second week of December 2015. The district police, SP Anish Gupta said, will try to convince the newly elected Zila Parishad chief to try to persuade her husband to lay down arms and join the mainstream.