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Great that legislators are concerned about North-east: galand MP

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, May 8 :It’s heart-warming for the lawmakers from regiol parties to be speaking in parliament on the problems faced by the “long neglected” northeast, MP and former galand chief minister Neiphiu Rio said on Sunday. “This new trend is definitely encouraging. We appreciate that members from other parties in various parts of the country are taking keen interest in the region,” Rio, who is the lone galand MP in Lok Sabha, said. Rio was referring in particular to the Lok Sabha debate on April 27 on demand for grants for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in which several members from across the country participated. Those who spoke their heart out were Tatagatha Sathpathy of Biju Jata Dal (Odisha), Arvind Sawant of Shiv Se (Maharashtra), Ram Mohan idu Kinjarapu of Telugu Desam Party (Andhra Pradesh), and Saugata Roy of Trimool Congress (West Bengal). What they said was a far cry from the parochialism that MPs, especially from the regiol parties, are often accused of. Sawant, for instance, suggested that the government should set up a sports university in the northeast and Kinjrapu called for immediate restoration of the northeast industrial and investment promotion policy which, he said, greatly helped the people of the region. Sawant told IANS: “Shiv Se is Maharashtra-based. That does not mean we are not concerned about the rest of India. Northeast is an important constituent of India, but it did not get its due.” “Though not neglected always, it definitely deserved better attention. That was our point in the Lok Sabha,” said the MP from Mumbai South. Sawant said he had also suggested developing the tourism potential of the northeast. “The region has scenic beauty, rivers and diverse flora and fau. There are also 13 big mosteries in the region. All of that provides the leverage for boosting tourism,” he said. The April 27 debate contrasted sharply with the acrimonious discussion over AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam in the ongoing budget session, but did not lack the boldness required to deal with the sensitive security situation of the troubled region. Biju Jata Dal’s Sathpathy even claimed that Indian armed forces have killed over “50,000 civilians in the region”. “The Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) has been the biggest deterrent to integrating the youth of the North-east with the rest of India,” he said. Sathpathy also called for honouring Manipur’s Irom Sharmila, a long-time campaigner against AFSPA, with a Padma award. (ians)

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