PM Modi pins hope on development works, Assam Accord to win electoral battle in north west

Guwahati, Assam, India Updated: Feb 09, 2019, 10:49 PM(IST)

File photo of PM Narendra Modi. Photograph:( PTI )

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Prime Minister Modi, who addressed three mega-public-meetings in Guwahati, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Agartala in Tripura after inaugurating a number of development projects and laying the foundation for many others in three states, slammed the previous regime at the Centre for ignoring the development of the northeast region.

With an eye on 25 Lok Sabha seats at stake in the northeast region with 14 seats in Assam alone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday not only reiterated his government’s resolve to address the problem of illegal migrants, but also showcased how his four and a half years’ rule at the Centre has accelerated the pace of development across all the eight states.

Prime Minister Modi, who addressed three mega-public-meetings in Guwahati, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Agartala in Tripura after inaugurating a number of development projects and laying the foundation for many others in three states, slammed the previous regime at the Centre for ignoring the development of the northeast region.

At Agartala, he said, “Workers in the unorganised sector were merely used by the previous governments for their vote bank politics. We introduced Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme which will provide an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 from the age of 60 years to the workers.”

“All the partners of the 'Mahamilawatwalas’ (opposition parties) have learned that the youth of the country, the poor of the country, the farmers of the country have their own ambitions. The job of the ‘Mahamilawatwalas’ is only to heap abuses and more abuses on me. It is as if an Olympic game is on to deride Modi,” he said.

The BJP had won eight Lok Sabha seats from the region during the last Lok Sabha polls in 2014 out of which seven were from Assam, and one from Arunachal Pradesh—Kiren Rijiju, who is Union Minister of State for Home Affairs. 

BJP president Amit Shah has set the target of winning 21 seats out of 25 in the coming Lok Sabha polls in the region—Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Nagaland.

In a bid to woo the tribal community of Tripura, Prime Minister Modi on Saturday said that his government has not only taken steps to strengthen the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) but would further ensure its self-reliance and adequate staff strength.

“Our government at the Centre has taken a step forward to fulfill the long-pending demand of strengthening the autonomous council (TTAADC). With the amendment in the law, we not only wish to make the council self-dependent but also want to increase the number of officers in the council,” he said after inaugurating Garjee-Belonia railway line.

Talking about development projects in the state, he said, “For the first time in Tripura, paddy was procured as per the minimum support price (MSP). Besides this, the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission were also implemented.”

He said the infrastructure projects inaugurated on Saturday in the state were a reflection of the HIRA model.

“I talked about the HIRA—Highway, I-way, Railway, Airway—model when I visited the state last time during the Assembly elections. All the infrastructure projects inaugurated today are a reflection of the HIRA model.”

In Guwahati, he promised to implement not only the Assam Accord, which seeks identification and deportation of illegal migrants, but also to ensure the state becomes a hub of oil and natural gas.

Prime Minister Modi, who was speaking after laying the foundation stone for the north-east gas grid, said, “Thirty-six years have passed but the Assam Accord has not been implemented yet and only Modi-led government would fulfill this task.”

Reiterating his government’s resolve to ensure all-round development of northeast region (NER), he said, “Today is a new chapter in the history of the northeast and the fast-paced development of this region has been a top priority for my government.”

“Assam is on the path to progress. Our dedication to the northeast has been proven in the interim budget as allocation to the northeast region has been increased by more than 21 per cent,” he said, assuring the people to protect their culture, resources, and languages.

On the Citizenship Bill, PM Modi urged the people not be carried away by the rumours. He urged the political parties to stop playing with the emotions of the people of Assam for political gain and vote bank. 

“Assam will not be harmed through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,” he said.

“We have inked Chitmahal agreement and are working towards completely sealing India-Bangladesh border,” he said, adding that his party was committed to freeing the country from infiltrators. 

“The National Register of Citizens (NRC) was not being implemented earlier. Now our government is working under the supervision of the Supreme Court to implement the NRC,” he said.

The Assam Accord, a memorandum of settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Central government led by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985. The core point of the accord was the identification and deportation of illegal immigrants from Assam, for which the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had been protesting since 1979.

Prime Minister also inaugurated Hollong modular gas processing plant in Tinsukia which will deliver 15 per cent of the total gas produced in Assam. He also inaugurated LPG capacity augmentation of mounted storage vessel in north Guwahati.

The foundation stone of NRL biorefinery at Numaligarh and a 729-km gas pipeline from Barauni-Guwahati passing through Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, and Assam was also laid by Prime Minister Modi on this occasion.

He said, “Numaligarh will be the largest among 12 biorefineries to be built across India. These facilities will transform Assam into oil and natural gas hub and boost India’s economy.” 

“In the last four-and-half years, projects worth Rs 14,000 crore have been completed in the oil and gas sector alone in Assam,” he said.

He also laid the foundation stone of City Gas Distribution Networks in Kamrup, Cacher, Hailakandi, and Karimganj districts. He said, “In 2014 there were around 25 lakh PNG connections which have now touched the mark of 46 lakh in just four years. The number of CNG refueling stations also increased from 950 to 1,500 during this period.”

In Itanagar, Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone for Greenfield Airport and Sela Tunnel. He also launched DD Arun Prabha Channel and unveiled several other development projects in the state from IG Park, Itanagar. Modi also inspected Loin Loom operations there.

Speaking on the occasion, he said, “Arunachal is the land of rising sun. It is the confidence of the country. Today I got an opportunity to unveil projects worth more than Rs 4,000 crore. Additional projects worth Rs 13,000 crore are in progress in the state.”

Criticising the previous regime for neglecting the region, Prime Minister Modi said, “Previous government neglected Arunachal Pradesh. We are here to change that. New India can only be built when north-east India is developed. Development is for uniting the regions and people.” 

“Our government has allocated Rs 44,000 crore to Arunachal Pradesh, which is double of the amount provided by the previous governments.” 

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