RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh made a surprise visit Sunday to the Maoists' heartland in the restive Bastar region and told tribals that he was committed to the development of the poverty-hit area.
"I love development and hate violence," Singh said at Chintalnar in the newly-formed Sukma district, some 500 km from here.
Referring to the Maoists, he said: "Some people are consistently blocking development and thwarting my efforts to build roads, hospitals, schools and other facilities in your areas. They (Maoists) actually believe in violence and I will be the first to hug them if they shed violence and give up arms."
The chief minister, who reached the Bastar region in a chopper, was accompanied by Chief Secretary Sunil Kumar and Director General of Police Anil M. Navaney.
He advised tribals to communicate with the local authorities on their development needs or write postcards directly to him.
The 40,000 sq km mineral-rich Bastar region, which comprises of seven districts, is considered the nerve centre of the Maoist militancy in the country since late 1980s.