Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured that the NDA Government is fully committed to protect the language, culture and resources of Assam and North East and would desist from doing anything potential to harm the interests of the people of the region. He said this while kick-starting projects to the tune of Rs. 18,000 crore boosting infrastructure, connectivity and economic growth of the entire region at a public rally held at Changsari in Guwahati.
Laying the foundation stone and unleashing the plaques of the projects namely Bio-Refinery at Numaligarh, North East Gas Grid, Barauni-Guwahati Natural Gas Pipeline, Bridge over River Brahmaputra connecting Guwahati with North Guwahati at Changsari today Prime Minister Modi said that the Centre has constituted a high powered committee for implementation of the Clause 6 of Assam Accord. He further urged the members of the committee to take people’s expectation into account and submit their report on the same. Stating the Government would not allow derailing the development process of Assam by vested interests groups in the name of vote bank politics, he said that to safeguard the interest of indigenous people, steps have been initiated to accord ST status to six communities of the state without affecting rights and privileges of the existing ST communities.
Stating that there is no space for illegal foreigners in Assam and the country, the Prime Minister said that the Union Government signed an agreement with the Bangladesh Government and executed the land swap deal in a bid to settle the border dispute. He, moreover, informed that NRC updation exercise, which is so important to identify the illegal migrants, has been carried forward towards its logical conclusion under the active supervision of the Supreme Court of India.
Reiterating the Government’s commitment, he said that steps have been taken to implement clause 6 of Assam Accord and already a committee to that effect has been constituted. He further urged the members of the committee to take people’s expectation into account and submit a report on the same. Further saying the Government would not allow derailing of the development process of Assam by vested interests groups in the name of vote bank politics, he said that to safeguard the interest of indigenous people, steps have been initiated to accord ST status to six communities of the state without affecting rights and privileges of the existing ST communities.
Moreover coming down heavily against the misinformation campaign being spread by certain opposition forces on the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the Prime Minister said that there is a need to understand the difference between illegal migrants who came to India seeking economic opportunity and those who were forced to leave their country due to religious persecution.
Prime Minister Modi said that the minority migrant population who took shelter in India out of religious persecution were earlier part of India and citizenship to them would be provided only after following all required verification process. He also said that protecting them was a national commitment, which the Government has fulfilled. He moreover added that it is a national bill and it is not involved with Assam and North East alone.
Earlier beginning his speech in Assamese and reciting verses from Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s song, Prime Minister Modi paid his tribute to Srimanta Sankardev, Madhavdev, Azan Fakir, Swargodeo Chaolung Siu-Ka-Pha, Lachit Borphukan and other legendary personalities of the state who gave essence to Assamese society. He also offered his best wishes for the success of the Srimanta Sankardev Sangha Session being held at Morigaon.
Prime Minister Modi also criticized the previous Government for ignoring the contributions of Dr Bhupen Hazarika and failing to honour him with the Bharat Ratna. He also lamented the fact that Gopinath Bordoloi, who made an immense contribution towards the political and social life of the country, was also ignored by the Congress Governments as he was also conferred on the highest civilian honour only during the tenure of NDA Government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Further appreciating State Government led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, PM Modi said that while earlier government institutionalized corruption, the present State government with its uncompromising tirade has been successful in stopping corruption and promoting work culture.
Saying that the development initiatives launched by the NDA Government have been successful in touching the lives of people of every corner of the country, the PM said that the union government’s commitment towards the region has already been reflected in the interim budget which has increased allocation for North East by 21 per cent.
Also stating that efforts are on to strengthen the economy of the North East, he said that as a result of proactive steps of the NDA Government, many long pending projects like Bogibeel Bridge, Bhupen Hazarika Setu connecting Dhola-Sadiya and many other projects were dedicated to the service of the nation. He further informed that already projects worth Rs. 14,000 crore has been completed in the oil and natural gas sector apart from ongoing projects to the tune of Rs. 9500 crore.
Moreover saying that the proposed Bio-Refinery at Numaligarh is the largest amongst the 12 bio-refineries in India, he informed that this would generate additional income for around 50,000 families. He also said that the projects like North East Gas Grid, BarauniGuwahati Natural Gas Pipeline, Bridge over River Brahmaputra connecting Guwahati with North Guwahati would revolutionise development narratives in the state.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal while speaking on the occasion thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conferring Dr Bhupen Hazarika with the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna. He also said that the centre under the leadership of Prime Minister has taken several visionary projects for infrastructural and economic development of the state.
Terming the day as historic in the growth narrative of the state, Sonowal said that never before in the history of the state such massive investment was pumped in on a single day. He also thanked Prime Minister for investing Rs. 22,594 for capacity augmentation of the NRL. He also said that it is because of Prime Minister Modi the implementation of the clauses of Assam Accord has been initiated in right earnest. For the detecting illegal foreigners, NRC exercise was initiated in right earnest along with sealing of Indo-Bangla border.
He also stated that the State government has plunged in action of forming a Bor Asom taking all communities and ethnicities along. He also said that the presence of ethnic leaders representing all Autonomous Councils in today’s function is the testimony of the government’s commitment to embrace an inclusive society. Allaying all fear psychosis, Sonowal however, said that government would do everything to safeguard interests, rights and privileges of indigenous communities of the state.
Bhoomi Pujan for the AIIMS to be constructed at Changsari was also held today.
Former Speaker, Assam Legislative Assembly Ranjeet Dass, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma also spoke on the occasion.
Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain, several MPs, ministers, Chief Executive Members of Autonomous Councils and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.