Asserting ballot is more powerful than bullet, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu appealed Naxalites to shun violence and rather opt for democratic process of joining mainstream through elections. The Vice President was in Chhatisgarh on Tuesday to inaugurate the foundation day of the state in Naya Raipur.
“History has shown that bullet and violence have not led to peace and development anywhere in the world. The entire history of the world is very clear that the ballot is more powerful than the bullet,” he said.
Violence is not going to bring any change and any revolution, Naidu said as he asked ultras to drop weapons and join the mainstream.
“Join the political field if you have conviction, if you have courage and if you have confidence then come to the people and try to win over the people,” he added.
Calling the Naxal-affected central Indian state a fast developing one, the Vice President also underlined how Chhatisgarh has been struggling with the menace of left wing extremism.
“Chhattisgarh has achieved speedy growth in a short span of time. While the state is feeling proud over the growth and social and economic development it has attained, on the other hand it is also facing the bitter truth (of naxalism).
“No development will take place if you (Naxalites) kill people, hinder the development, obstruct construction of roads and destroy schools and hospitals. Nothing will change if you do all these things. It is wrong to call it a revolution and this is not the way,” he said.
The issue of Naxal violence has left several regions in the state backward and devoid of development. Chhatisgarh has witnessed several bloody attacks on the central paramilitary forces, state police and even political leaders in past few years.
“No officer, teachers and doctors wanted to go there (naxal-affected areas) fearing violence. My suggestion to them (naxals) is that they should realise that nothing is going to change with this (violence),” the Vice President said.
Naidu paid tribute to soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the Maoist violence and praised their bravery.
He also expressed happiness over the efforts of the Centre and state governments to bring peace and development in the naxal-hit areas.
“I am happy that both Centre and state governments are stressing on the development in these (naxal-affected) areas. The state government has been using funds sanctioned by the Centre under various public welfare schemes in a good manner,” Naidu said.
Lauding various schemes and projects of the Chhattisgarh government, he said the state has witnessed massive development in various sectors but it has to do more in many areas like to bring down poverty and infant mortality rate.
Governor Balramji Das Tandon, Chief Minister Raman Singh, Lok Sabha MP Ramesh Bais and state ministers were present at the opening ceremony.
(With inputs from PTI)