On the morning of 8th February, Shri Narendra Modi addressed a huge crowd of supporters and karyakartas at the ‘BJP New Hope New Manipur’ rally at Imphal in Manipur.
Echoing his concern for the North-Eastern part of India, Shri Modi said, “This region has been suffering due to lack of infrastructure. People have wrongly been made to feel that they are not part of mainstream.” He went on to add how the Central government policies were not aligned to the development of this region, while highlighting the pro-people policies framed by the BJP government, for this region, under the leadership of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee. Some of these remarkable initiatives included the formation of a separate Ministry for the North-east, special package for economic development of the North-east and the 20-point programme for the economic development of this region.
With a promise to take forward the processes started by Shri Vajpayee, Shri Modi said, “With lot of conviction and commitment to do something, we promise to bring this region at par with other regions of India.” Shri Modi highlighted the tremendous potential of the North-Eastern region - which included the 7 sister states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and the state of Sikkim - by saying, “Yeh Bharat ke bhagya ko badalne ki ashta lakshmi hai.”
In a clear rejection of the divisive forces that have spread havoc in the North East Shri Modi affirmed, “Because of lack of attention and lack of governance the North East fell into the hands of divisive forces. Extremism and infiltration are big threats and Manipur has seen bad governance under the Congress. Drug trafficking is also a very big problem. Not only has the Congress failed to stop that but also their leaders are complicit.” He further said, “Congress feels that the only solution to insurgency is fake encounters but they do not know such steps will further spoil the atmosphere.”
Narendra Modi affirmed that all records of corruption have been broken by the Congress in the Centre and in Manipur. He cited the example of the Loktak Lake scam and affirmed that crores have been siphoned off in this scam. “Except corruption they do not want to do anything. When the BJP comes to power we will seek the accounts of every Rupee,” stated Shri Modi. He questioned why the Prime Minister has failed to do anything for the North East despite being MP from here for over 20 years.
Shri Modi questioned the lacklustre attitude of the State and the Centre towards issues of National Security and asked why border pillars with Myanmar are missing. He asked why were agreements with Myanmar signed by the State CM without taking approval from Parliament.
Giving examples of the collapse of development apparatus in Manipur, Shri Modi said that the power and water facilities are not up to the mark in Manipur. Similarly, the Panchayati Raj and much-hyped MNREGA have failed here, he affirmed. Shri Modi shared that out of the lakhs of youngsters (over 6.5 lakhs) registered for the employment exchange only 100 have got jobs.
Talking about the vast untapped potential of this region, in terms of its culture, demographics and nature’s bounty, Shri Modi said that the Indian culture was not complete without the Manipur dance, and that the state also contributes a lot in the domains of sports and national security. “So many boys and girls from Manipur are in the Army. This state gives colour and vibrancy to our life and adds to India's diversity,” said Shri Modi, while adding that, “India will only gain if the North East gains.”
Shri Modi also spoke about the need to develop the rich biodiversity of this region by giving an impetus to Plantation, Horticulture and Agro-based industries, while emphasizing on the need to harness the rich mineral resources. He further added how development of tourism and herbal exports, through ensuring value-addition, will give employment to the youth of this region and take its economy forward.
By citing Gujarat’s successful initiative of mobilizing its oil reserves, Shri Modi drew the crowd’s attention to the Central Government’s lack of political vision for harnessing the rich oil reserves of the region, which had left the region deprived of growth.
Shri Modi also condemned the recent attack on a North-eastern student in Delhi, and attributed this ‘shameful and sad incident’ to the collapse of the governance in Delhi. He further added that this collapse was reflected in many other areas including the grave concern of atrocities on women.