Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday joined the celebration of three successful years of the Modi Government at the centre and one year of BJP government in Assam here at the Veterinary Grounds, Khanapara in Guwahati.
The celebration was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Chief Guest, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh besides several union ministers and party stalwarts.
Speaking on the occasion, Khandu hailed the tremendous achievements made by the Government under Narendra Modi be it in policy decisions or physical milestones.
Thanking the Prime Minister for taking pains to travel all the way and inaugurate the longest bridge- Dhola – Sadiya Bridge – of the country that will connect Assam and Arunachal in a manner never before, Khandu also said the newly announced projects – an agriculture research center (IARI) and AIIMS – in Assam will benefit the entire North East.
Khandu said that the Dhola-Sadiya bridge actually was gifted by the then BJP Government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003. Unfortunately it got delayed after the BJP-led government lost power in 2004.
“The required speed at which work on the project should have gone didn’t happen under the successive government at the Center. Luckily for us BJP came back to power in the Center under the leadership of Modiji and the project got more than the required push. It is but befitting that today – on completion of three years in office – the bridge has been inaugurated by Modiji fulfilling the vision of Vajpayeeji,” Khandu said.
He also expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister to fulfil the long felt demand of the people to have an institute of AIIMS repute in the region.
“We know thousands of patients go to Delhi for treatment at AIIMS from the North East every year. Establishment of AIIMS at Guwahati is a boon and proof of Modiji’s concern for the region,” he pointed.
On the laying of foundation for an Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) at Gogamukh by the Prime Minister, Khandu said that Arunachal Pradesh would benefit the most from it. Gogamukh town is just across the inter-state boundary, a drive of about two hours from Itanagar.
Highlighting the priority areas of the BJP, Khandu hailed the programmes and schemes launched by the Center for welfare and upliftment of farmers and employability of youths. He said the pro-active skill development scheme of the Center and Modi’s commitment to double the income of farmers by 2022 has paid rich dividends so far and gave the establishment of IARI at Gogamukh as an example in this direction.
Citing the recent visit of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and slew of projects announced and kick-started worth 90000 crore in the North East, Khandu attributed it to the Prime Minister’s bold decision for development of the region.
Khandu observed that despite the region having huge potential in terms of natural as well as human resources, governments at the center had failed to recognize, acknowledge and tap these for the benefit of the people. However, since Modiji became the Prime Minister things have changed for the good, he pointed and said Modi’s directive to his cabinet colleagues to personally visit North East once every now and then is a proof of his concern and recognition of the region’s importance.
“A new trend is evident. Even officers of secretary level from Government of India are constantly visiting the north eastern states. Earlier we used to travel all the way to Delhi for all official works at least once a month. Now it’s the other way round,” he said.
Khandu further said that whenever the state government submitted challenges faced by it in various sectors, especially connectivity, the Prime Minister promptly sends a central team to assess the acts.
“All state issues are resolved in the state itself,” he said.
Asserting that people of the North East need to change their mind-set towards BJP as a party, the Chief Minister, who will complete one year in office on July 17 next, said the region collectively has a better future with Modi at the helm of affairs.
Earlier, Khandu was accorded a warm traditional Assamese welcome on his arrival at the airport and Khanapara.