Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Friday said there was no space for cow vigilantism in the state owing to its strong secular fabric, adding that development could be expedited if all sections of society worked together.People of the state were already busy fighting Maoism (or Naxalism) and there would not be any communal fight till such time he was in power, Singh said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here."There is no history of riots in Chhattisgarh. Votes are never cast on the basis of caste and religion."It will remain peaceful for the next 50 years. We are already fighting naxals. It is enough. How much more we would fight? There is no need for any other kind of fight," he said when asked about the absence of cow vigilantism in Chhattisgarh politics despite it being a Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state.Cow vigilantism involves mob attacks on mostly Muslims and Dalits in the name of cow protection.Singh said the state was moving ahead with the idea of peace. "We will be able to develop fast if we walk together," he said, adding that he was confident of coming to power in the state in 2018 for the fourth consecutive time owing to the development work his government has done.
Singh also said Chhattisgarh was changing its image of being identified as a "Red Corridor" to "Green Corridor" after his government's initiatives had weakened Maoism and improved the quality of life for the people in the state. "Chhattisgarh was the victim of regional imbalance so it was made a state. There were many challenges. Since the BJP came to power in 2003, we have improved Public Distribution System, brought down cases of malnutrition. No one goes to bed hungry. We are developing a new Chhattisgarh," he said."We have incurred huge losses due to naxalism. We have built road network, schools, medical colleges, promoted Self Help Groups. We are building 1,200 km roads in the state though naxalites damaged machinery, scared contractors. But we are working overnight, there is no disappointment. The Red Corridor is going to die out. There will be Green Corridor now."Singh said Chhattisgarh can be called a "start-up" state as it was taking several "risks" and bringing "innovations".He said the living standards and facilities in the state, especially in Maoist-influenced areas had improved.
"Per capita power consumption has increased from 700 units to 1,760 units in last 17 years. We have distributed stoves each for just Rs 200 to check tree cutting. Similarly, number of schools, medical and engineering colleges has increased. We have replaced naxal-damaged schools with portable cabins."He also said the government was busy in improving road, rail and air connectivity in the state and was planning to distribute 50 lakh smartphones to connect the people to various government schemes.