Raipur, Apr 17 (UNI) Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi today urged the Communist Party of India (Maoist) to shun violence and return to the political mainstream as their comrades did in Nepal.
''Maoists in Nepal have set an example by contesting elections and fighting for democracy in Nepal while in India democracy is already very strong,'' he told UNI here.
Describing Indian democracy as the best in the world, the Congress leader said that the rebels claimed that their armed struggle was to protect interests of the poor and downtrodden.
''However, the Maoists must realise that violence cannot solve any problems confronting the nation,'' he added.
Terming the political developments in Nepal as positive, the ex-chief minister said that with independence, India had already achieved what the Maoists were trying to achieve in the neighbouring country.
''I was born in a poor family. Later, I got the opportunity to join the Indian Administrative Service and also became the chief minister,'' he cited his own example to drive home the point that it was only in democracy that a man behind the plough could get the opportunity to come forward and participate in the development process.
The ex-chief minister's appeal to the CPI (Maoist) comes at a time when the rebels are stepping up activities in several districts in Chhattisgarh and unleashing violence in the state's tribal areas.
UNI AS-JJ AC 1754