Modi's development efforts helped NE emerge as country's growth engine: Shah

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(Adding detail) Guwahati, Dec 26 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policy of development of North East has led to its emergence as the growth engine of the country with all militant groups joining the mainstream,Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday.

Earlier, agitations and violence, separatists and different armed groups were seen but now they are all part of the mainstream, Shah said at a programme to launch four projects at the Kumar Bhaskar Varma Kshetra at Amingaon here.

'All those youths have now joined hands for Assam's development and are now competing with the global youths through start-ups and other projects to make the state the growth engine of the nation', he said.

Shah came down heavily on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not solving the issue of Rs 8000 crore outstanding dues of oil royalty to the state.

Singh represented Assam for 18 years but could not solve this issue, but 'Modiji cleared the outstanding dues even before the BJP came to power in the state and also ensured that in future the amount will keep increasing and reach to the people of the region,' he said.

Modi had said in 2013 that unless the North East develops, the nation cannot progress and in 2014 after coming to power he translated his promise into reality, he said.

'Assam's culture is not of its alone but is the ornament of the entire nations and it was Assam's Vaishnav saint Mahapurush Sankardeva who spent his entire life on the path of Bhakti,enriching it with literary works, traditions, culture, relgious thoughts which received recognition in the rest of the country', Shah said.

He said this on launch of the project for the development and beautification of Batadrava Than,birthplace of the saint.

Sankardeva and Madhavdeva had unified the entire state and now the team of Sarbananda Sonowal and Himanta Biswa Sarma have unified the people of the state by upholding and promoting the state's heritage and tradition, he said.

'The Congress did not think of developing his birthplace but the BJP believes that unless the language and culture are developed, the state cannot progress', he said.

There are more than one lakh 'Namghaars' (Vaishnavite prayer and community halls) in the state spreading the message Sankardeva and the state government's decision to give Rs 2.5 lakh to eight thousand namghars is a unique step towards unification of the people, he said.

'The only way to establish permanent peace is by following Sankardeva's path of Bhakti and I am hopeful that the era of violence and agitations, AK-46 toting youths have come to an end and Bhakti music, art, literature, drama will prevail and unite Assam', the home minister said.

He congratulated signatories of the Bodo Accord and hailed conduct of violence-free elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) recently.

In the recent elections to BTC, 80 per cent voting was exercised without a single drop of blood, he said.

This proves that if there is a genuine respect, desire to establish peace and commitment to development, then all issues can be resolved like the Peace-Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, ending the Manipur blockade and Bru-Reang Agreement attempts among others, Shah added.

He further said that in the BTC polls,people gave mandate to the NDA and 'I believe this is the semi-final and the state assembly elections will be the final where they will give an absolute majority to the ruling BJP'.

Assam's major problem is infiltration which impacts language, culture, employment opportunities and hampers development.

The Congress and other parties cannot stop infiltration but it is the BJP government under Narendra Modi that can stop it.

He said polls will be held soon and again separatists will come with different agenda and try to misguide the people,take them to the path of agitation but 'I want to ask them what have you given by agitations-has there been development,has poverty ended, health facilties improved, infrastructural developments taken place.....only youths have been martyred'.

He said some of them are forming parties to ensure victory of the Congress indirectly by dividing votes.

On foundation laying of nine law colleges in the state, Shah said that the state has given a Chief Justice like Ranjan Gogoi to the nation and hoped many more legal luminaries will come out from these colleges in the future.

Modi has made a great contribution for the health sector of the state and there are now seven medical colleges and hospitals in Assam and six more will be set up, he said.

He congratulated Sarma, the state's health minister, for effectively tackling coronavirus in Assam.

He also congratulated the state government for effectively tackling rhino poaching with an iron hand and claimed that the BJP has brought the number of rhino killing to almost zero while Kaziranga National Park is almost free of encroachers.

Shah alleged that the poachers enjoyed the protection of Congress government.

Shah said it was the BJP that had conferred the Bharat Ratna to Assam's cultural icon Bhupen Hazarika.

He said some people are agitating against the farm reforms and appealed to them to come to the mainstream.

'I urge them to hold talks with the government and try to resolve the issue through discussions', he added. PTI DG SNS SNS