Raipur: Sending a strong message to the ultras, Chief Minister Raman Singh on Thursday said those trying to rule ballot with the power of bullets will never be accepted.
"Democracy and ideologies within the ambit for our Constitution are welcome in social mainstream but the forces trying to rule ballot with the power of bullets will never be accepted," Singh said while addressing the Independence Day function here at Police Parade Ground.
"I once again pay rich tribute to security personnel, civilians and all those who sacrificed their life in Naxal violence," he said.
Singh appealed to cut across party lines to stand together against anti-constitutional, anti-democracy and anti-development forces.
In a bid to win over the hearts of people in the poll bound state, he also announced to increase the retirement age of state government employees to 62 years from 60.
He also announced creation of a new division with effect from 2013, taking the total number of administrative divisions to five in the tribal-dominated state.
The existing Raipur division has been reorganised to form a new division Durg, he said. The new division will have 5 districts - Rajnandgaon, Balod, Durg, Bemetara and Kabirdham.
"This will increase the administrative efficiency. We are also working on reorganising the tehsil and development blocks in the state," Singh said.
Listing out achievements of his government, the Chief Minister said his government was the first in the country to introduce Food Security Bill, besides providing agricultural loans at the rate of one per cent per annum.
He also listed out various measures to be implemented for active participation of tribals in the mainstream.
Earlier, Singh unfurled the tricolour flag and received guard of honour from the joint parade of state police, Chhattisgarh Armed Police, National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme, Scout and Guide students at the Parade Ground here to mark Independence Day, amid tight security.
About 5,000 people, including hundreds of children, thronged the venue to witness the colourful parade with patriotic fervour and gaiety.
The celebrations went off peacefully and there were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere in the naxal hit state, a senior police official said.
In Bastar region, people defied Maoist opposition to Independence Day celebration and attended functions in Dantewada, Sukma, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Bastar and Kondagaon districts of the region.