Terrorism, insurgency on decline in Assam, state on path of progress: Rajnath

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(Eds: Adds details) Biswanath (Assam), Mar 14 (PTI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that terrorism and insurgency have declined in Assam, leading to the speeding up of the government's development activities.

Singh, while addressing his maiden election rally here, said peace has returned to Assam, with dozens of insurgent groups laying down their arms during the last five years of the BJP rule in the state.

'When I was asked to come to Biswanath, the 2014 massacre of Adivasis here came to my mind. But now, the situation has improved. There cannot be any better news than peace prevailing in the region,' he said.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed charge in 2014, the Centre had taken a resolve to end terrorism and insurgency, Singh, who was the Union Home Minister during the Adivasi killings, said.

'So many insurgent outfits have laid down their arms in the last five years. The condition in Assam has improved a lot. The state is on the path of progress,' the senior BJP leader said.

He said the BJP-led government has sealed a major portion of the India-Bangladesh border and installed electronic surveillance along the riverine stretch.

'We have sealed the international border in Dhubri.

Whatever little stretch is left unfenced will be completely seated after the BJP returns to power in Assam,' he said.

Singh said the BJP government in Tripura is also working towards preventing illegal immigration from the neighbouring country.

He said the BJP is fully committed to upholding the dignity of Assam and the Northeast.

Training his guns on the Congress, he said, 'Before 2016, there were Congress governments in Assam. All of you know better what development they did during their 15-year- long rule.' He appealed to the people to ask Congress leaders what development they had done during their tenure in Assam.

'The development that Congress did not do in all these years happened only during the last five years of BJP rule in the state under the leadership of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal,' Singh said, mentioning the schemes rolled out by the government.

Noting that the government has spent thousands of crores of rupees for the development of the state, he asserted that nobody can level a single corruption charge against either Sonowal or any of his ministers.

The Union minister promised to further hike the minimum wages of tea garden workers after it was recently increased to Rs 217 per day.

Lauding the Sonowal government for effectively handling the coronavirus crisis, he said the COVID-19 situation in Assam is one of the best in the world.

Singh was campaigning for sitting BJP MLA Promod Borthakur, who will have a direct contest with Congress nominee Anjan Borah in Biswanath seat that is going to polls in the first phase on March 27. PTI TR ACD ACD