Protests greet Modi’s Assam visit amid CAA controversy; projects worth Rs.18,000 cr to be inaugurated

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares for his visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, scheduled for Friday, tensions escalate with the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and various...

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares for his visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, scheduled for Friday, tensions escalate with the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and various regional organisations launching protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

The itinerary for PM Modi’s two-day program includes significant engagements such as a visit to Kaziranga National Park, the inauguration of a 125-foot statue honouring the legendary Ahom general Lachit Borphukan, and the dedication of housing units under the PM Awas Yojana. Additionally, he will inaugurate medical colleges and hospitals, along with other development projects.

This visit is widely anticipated to mark the beginning of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The BJP, being the sole party to have released a list of candidates for Assam, has nominated candidates for 11 out of 14 seats in the state.

The AASU has planned a commemorative program to remember the lives lost during the protests against the CAA, scheduling a 12-hour hunger strike on March 10, joined by leaders of various regional organizations across all district headquarters.

In response to the protests, AASU President Utpal Sarma reiterated the organization’s stance, citing the burden placed on Assam as per the Assam Accord and expressing vehement opposition to the CAA. Sarma criticised the imposition of the act, stating that it was not acceptable to the people of Assam. Reflecting on the political landscape, Sarma highlighted the persistent concerns of the people of Assam and the Northeast, emphasising issues such as unemployment, border security, flooding, erosion, and constitutional safeguards.

Modi’s Assam, Arunachal visit paves way for development surge

Prime Minister Narendra Modi commenced his two-day visit to Assam on Friday, just ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. His arrival at Tezpur airport was greeted by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who expressed enthusiasm on social media, welcoming the Prime Minister to the land of Maa Kamakhya and Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev.

During his visit, the Prime Minister is slated to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for numerous development projects worth Rs.18,000 crore, jointly undertaken by Assam and the central government. Notable among these projects is the Barauni-Guwahati Pipeline, a monumental initiative aimed at bolstering India’s energy security by integrating the Northeast into the National Gas Grid. Additionally, several petroleum projects aimed at enhancing domestic oil refining capacity will be inaugurated and their foundation stones laid.

In a significant stride towards improving rail connectivity, Prime Minister Modi will dedicate two railway line doubling projects valued at Rs.1,328 crore. These projects are set to enhance transportation efficiency and connectivity across the region.

After arriving via a special aircraft, the Prime Minister proceeded to Panbari in Golaghat via helicopter, where he is expected to embark on a 16-kilometer roadshow to the Assam Police guest house at Kohora range of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR), where he will spend the night.

On Saturday morning, Modi will visit Kaziranga National Park, renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage site and the primary habitat for endangered one-horned rhinos. Following his visit, he will depart for Arunachal Pradesh, where he is scheduled to participate in two significant programs, including the dedication of the Sela tunnel to the nation—a remarkable feat constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at a cost of Rs.825 crore.

Returning to Assam in the afternoon, the Prime Minister will inaugurate the 125-foot high ‘Statue of Valour’ of Ahom general Lachit Barphukan, followed by the inauguration of the 84-foot tall statue of the legendary Ahom general Lachit Borphukan at Jorhat. A public rally at Meleng Meteli will mark the conclusion of his visit, during which several Central and state government projects will be inaugurated.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit underscores the government’s commitment to development and infrastructure enhancement in the Northeast region, while also setting the stage for forthcoming electoral campaigns.

 

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