GUWAHATI: Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal arrived in the State for the first time after being inducted in the Union Cabinet.
Sonowal took part in the three-day-long Jan Ashirwad Yatra organized by the State BJP to seek the blessings of the people.
Addressing party workers as well the media at a meeting at the State BJP headquarters at Hengrabari here on Saturday, Sonowal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi rediscovered the immense potentials and possibilities of Assam and other north-eastern States.
"Being from Assam, I even did not realize the potentials and possibilities of the region till Modiji discovered the same. Modiji is the only Prime Minister who has given the highest importance to the Northeast. Modiji refers to the NE States as 'Ashta Lakshmi' (eight forms of the Goddess of Wealth) of India. Induction of five ministers from the NE in the Union Cabinet is evident of the Prime Minister's commitment and sincerity towards the region," Sonowal said.
He asserted that the people of the NE have witnessed sea changes in the field of transport and communication, infrastructure development, agriculture, education, economy, administrative system etc., during Prime Minister Modi's regime.
"Had the Congress government at the Centre done in the last 60 years what the Modi government did in just seven years, the Northeast would have progressed much. The Northeast is lagging much behind due to the Congress's misrule, corruption, neglect and step-motherly treatment to the region," Sonowal said.
The Union Minister praised various activities, schemes and policy decisions taken by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the last 100 days. He said Sarma deserves thousands of thanks for the bold offensive against the menace of drugs to save future generations.
Addressing the same function, Chief Minister Sarma said Assam would benefit from the portfolios that Sonowal is holding as a Union Cabinet Minister. "After induction of Sonowal in the Union Cabinet, we feel closer to the Government in Delhi. Our messages get conveyed directly to the Union Cabinet," Sarma said.
State BJP president Bhabesh Kalita, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries RameswarTeli, BJP national general secretary and Mangaldai MP Dilip Saikia, national vice president of the BJP and Assam prabhari Baijayant Jay Panda and various other senior party leaders were present at the function.
Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister and senior Assam BJP leaders welcomed Sonowal at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport. Sonowal first visited the Bhupen Hazarika Samadhi Kshetra at Jalukbari and then attended a party workers' meeting at Azara. Later he visited the Kamakhya temple, and paid tributes to the statue of Ahom warrior Lachit Barphukon along the bank of the Brahmaputra.
On Sunday, Sonowal will join the Jan Ashirwad Yatra that will culminate in Jorhat on Monday.