In a press conference on the ‘Development of Northeast Region since 2014,’ Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, highlighted the significant impact of the Modi government on Northeast India, ushering in an era of progress and development.
Sonowal emphasised that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has consistently treated the people of the Northeast with utmost respect, recognizing them as equal partners in the nation-building process. This approach has resulted in a substantial reduction in insurgency, leading to nearly zero civilian casualties in 2023. Over the past nine years, more than 8,000 insurgents have voluntarily surrendered. Efforts to scale down the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) have seen its complete withdrawal from Tripura and Meghalaya, along with a significant reduction in its application in Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur.
The former Chief Minister of Assam highlighted that Prime Minister Modi has not only fulfilled his commitments to the region but has exceeded expectations during his tenure of over nine years. This period has witnessed the restoration of “peace and security” in a region that endured decades of “neglect” under the rule of the Congress party.
He stated that an impressive grant exceeding Rs 5 lakh crore has been allocated to the eight states in the region, providing a significant impetus to infrastructure development, including roads, railways, waterways, and air connectivity. The number of airports has seen a notable increase from nine to 17.
Taking aim at the Congress, once a dominant political force in the Northeast, Sonowal asserted that the region faced challenges such as terrorism, protests, weak governance, misguided policies, and corruption during the Congress rule. He accused the Congress of prioritizing resource exploitation over the welfare of the people, leading to prolonged protests for basic developmental needs. Additionally, he criticized the delay in appointments for the region’s representatives when seeking meetings with ministers and officials in the national capital.
Under Modi’s leadership, the government has actively engaged with the people of the region, marked by the Prime Minister’s record 64 visits. Central ministers have visited the Northeast 362 times in the last two years and over 800 times in the past nine years, demonstrating a commitment to sincere and dedicated efforts to boost development, as per the Prime Minister’s instructions. The Northeast, he noted, had the opportunity to showcase its culture and civilization to the world during the G20 exercise, hosting several events. The outcomes of the government’s initiatives have positioned the North East as a powerhouse of India’s growth and a crucial destination for development.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Sarbananda Sonowal expressed his sentiments, stating, “Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji’s tenure has seen the #NorthEast emerge out of darkness into the New Engine of India’s growth. #ModiKiGuarantee has ensured peace, progress, and prosperity to the region that was neglected for too long.”
Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji’s tenure has seen the #NorthEast emerge out of darkness into the New Engine of India’s growth. #ModiKiGuarantee has ensured peace, progress and prosperity to the region that was neglected for too long.
Addressed mediapersons in New Delhi to… pic.twitter.com/wRB04gQ9o8
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) December 13, 2023