Raipur, Nov 1 (PTI) Vice President Venkaiah Naidu today appealed Naxalites to shun violence and enter the poll arena, asserting that ballot is more powerful than bullet.Also Read - Chhattisgarh Activist Pastes Pictures of Lord Shiva on Trees to Prevent Them From Being Cut | Watch

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of Chhattisgarh Rajyotsava – the statehood celebrations- in Naya Raipur late this evening. Also Read - Mumbai Rains: Death Toll Rises to 31 in Landslide, House-collapse Incidents; NDRF Ends Search & Rescue Ops

“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. Also Read - Chhattisgarh IPS Officer Faces Sedition Case For 'Conspiracy' Against Government

“Violence is not going to bring any change and any revolution whatsoever if they (referring to naxalites) are and anybody is day dreaming about it, it’s better they leave the idea,” the vice president said.

Naidu 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.

The Vice President said Chhattisgarh is a fast developing state in the county but at the same time it is 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.

Blaming Naxalism for backwardness in areas of Bastar and Surguja of the state, the vice president said development could not reach the last person due to activities of Maoists.

“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).

“They should believe in democracy which is the only alternative in the world. Violence has no place in the country like India. They should think what they have gained through violence,” he added.

Naidu paid tribute to soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the Maoist violence and praised their bravery.

He 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.

Earlier, the vice president also visited the exhibition stalls at the venue depicting the journey of Chhattisgarh during the past 17 years.

Governor Balramji Das Tandon, Chief Minister Raman Singh, Lok Sabha MP Ramesh Bais and state ministers were present at the opening ceremony.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.