Launching of the North East Democratic Alliance ( NEDA ) is beginning of a new era for the people of the region, said Arunachal Chief minister Kalikho pul. Pul was addressing the first Political Convention of NEDA held at Shnakrdev Klakshtetra in Guwahati on Wednesday. He emphasized that NEDA is not merely a political platform, but is the crystallization of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for a new development model for north-eastern states by which the collective strength of the region can be harnessed and its dreams achieved.
“For decades, our region has been a black hole for business and enterprise. Endemic conflicts, geographical isolation and historical neglect have led to a drying up of investments, and the lack of economic and social development of the region,” he lamented saying that this was despite the rich natural and human resources that the region offers for investment and growth.
But with the NDA government at the Centre with its call of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” and northeast being on the top of its priority, it’s a very positive and favourable sign, asserted the Chief Minister.
Observing that there are lot of issues that overlap between the states in the region — whether it is the shared borders that need clear boundary demarcation or the idea of sharing water and even road connectivity, Pul hoped that NEDA, as a coalition of strong regional parties will emerge as a major coordination platform to jointly address the issues that confront the region.
Further stressing that the region being largely tribal, he called for a strong sense of ethnic and religious identity to be reassured so it is not under threat at any cost.
“To do this, we will need to accommodate a broader idea of an alliance driven on politics and development as opposed to one driven on religion or community,” said Pul and emphasised on NEDA having the advantage of being regional in character, but national in outlook.
He urged for NEDA to ensure that not only are each of its component parties given a space to reflect their mandate, but within its larger structure, each one of these different aspirations need to be accommodated.
CM Pul also emphasised that a platform like NEDA could be a key to success of the Act East Policy as any initiative that is taken up under the umbrella of this policy will involve each of the north eastern states for its successful implementation.
Besides the regional parties which are constituents of NEDA, and chief ministers of Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, all Ministers and legislators of ruling PPA government of Arunachal attended the convention.