PM Modi’s Manipur pitch: India now looking East
Agartala/Imphal: The Bharatiya Janata Party-led governments in Manipur and Tripura transformed the two states, put them on the road to development, and ended extremist violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, accusing previous administrations of neglecting the North-East
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led governments in Manipur and Tripura transformed the two states, put them on the road to development, and ended extremist violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, accusing previous administrations of neglecting the North-East.
Launching projects worth ₹1,858 crore in Manipur, which goes to polls in February-March this year, PM Modi said with the double engine government -- a reference to the BJP being in power both at the Centre and in the state -- the Northeast will become the driver of the country’s growth.
Modi said previous governments had a set policy -- Don’t Look East -- and the North-East would come in focus only during elections. “But we have adopted a policy of Act East for the Northeast, which is now becoming the gateway for India’s development,” he told a public meeting in Imphal.
“Previous governments in Delhi neglected Manipur and the entire Northeast, conspired to create a chasm between the hills and the valleys. Today, there is no fire of extremism and violence. We have brought in a new light of peace and development,” the Prime Minister added.
He highlighted various projects taken up by the state government in Manipur and said sportspersons from the state made the country proud, from the Commonwealth Games to the Olympic Games.
“That’s why the National Sports University is being developed in the state so that it can bring new faces in sports activities and bring a change in the country’s performance,” he added.
Before addressing the public meeting, PM Modi interacted with the beneficiaries of various central and state government schemes, and inspected the welcome performance by traditional drummers and dancers. He also tried his hand at playing some traditional musical instruments.
The PM’s Manipur visit was boycotted by the proscribed organisation Coordination Committee (CorCom) -- an umbrella organisation of insurgent groups -- called for a total shutdown in the state from 1am to 4 pm. As a result, Imphal city wore a deserted look for most of the day
In Agartala, the PM said the central government heavily invested in upgrading connectivity infrastructures in the Northeast, as compared to the previous administrations. This became possible due to double-engine government, he added.
“There can be no alternative to a double-engine government. As pro-development governments are in power both at the Centre and in the state, development can be done at double the speed,” he said. Modi said that he received lots of love from the state and will return it through ‘double vikas’ (development).
The PM said that Tripura will emerge as a trade corridor and trade hub for the Northeast with better connectivity under the HIRA (highways, inland waterways, road and aviation) model, which was first announced ahead of the Tripura assembly polls in 2018. The BJP came to power for the first time in 2018 in alliance with Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), trouncing the Left parties.
“In order to change the situation, I had assured of HIRA to the state. With this HIRA model, connectivity of Tripura is improving and expanding,” Modi said at the Swami Vivekananda Maidan in Agartala.
He also inaugurated the new terminal building of the Bir Bikram Manikya Bahadur airport in Agartala , which was built at a cost of ₹450 crore. The new terminal building is expected to handle 1,200 domestic and proposed international passengers.