Many congratulations to the people of Manipur on the completion of 50 years of formation!
It is the perseverance and sacrifice of so many people behind the achievements of Manipur as a state today. I respectfully bow down to every such person. Manipur has seen many ups and downs in the last 50 years. The people of Manipur have lived every moment unitedly and faced every situation. This is the true strength of Manipur. It has been my constant endeavor over the last seven years to come among you and take a first-hand account of your expectations, aspirations and needs. This is also the reason why I was able to understand your expectations and feelings better and find new ways to solve your problems. Manipur deserves peace and freedom from shutdowns and blockades. This has been a major ambition of the people of Manipur. Today I am happy that the people of Manipur have achieved this after a long wait under the leadership of Biren Singh ji. Today development is reaching every region and section of Manipur without any discrimination. It is a matter of great satisfaction for me personally.
I am very happy to see that Manipur is putting its potential into development and the potential of its youth is shining on the world stage. When we see the zeal and passion of the sons and daughters of Manipur in the playing field, the head of the entire country is held high with pride. Keeping in view the potential of the youth of Manipur, we have taken the initiative to make the state a sports powerhouse of the country. This is the reasoning behind the establishment of the country's first National Sports University. This is a great effort to promote sports, sports education, sports management and technology. Not only sports, the youth of Manipur are doing wonders in the matter of start-ups and entrepreneurship also. In this too, the role of sisters and daughters is commendable. The government is working with commitment to enriching the handicraft potential of Manipur.
Manipur's role is important in the vision with which we are moving forward to make the North East the center of the Act East Policy. You had to wait 50 years for the first passenger train. The rail services have reached Manipur after such a long period, after many decades, and when people see this dream coming true, every Manipur citizen says it is due to the double engine government. It took decades for such a basic facility. But now, work is happening at a rapid pace for the connectivity in Manipur. Today, work is going on at a brisk pace on connectivity projects worth thousands of crores of rupees. It also includes the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway line. Similarly, with Imphal airport getting international status, connectivity of North-Eastern states with Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru has improved. Work is also going on in full swing on the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway. Manipur is also going to get the benefit of the natural gas pipeline being laid in the North East costing Rs 9,000 crore.
Brothers and sisters,
Today Manipur is at an important juncture after 50 years of journey. Manipur has started the journey towards rapid development. The obstacles that were there are now gone. Now we don't have to look back from here on. When our country completes 100 years of its independence, then it will be 75 years of the full statehood of Manipur. Therefore, this is also the virtuous period for the development of Manipur as well. We have to remember that the forces which abandoned the development of Manipur for a long time should not get an opportunity to raise their heads again. Now we have to walk with new dreams and new resolutions for the next decade. I would especially urge the younger sons and daughters to come forward. I am very assured about your bright future. Manipur has to move ahead at a fast pace with a double engine of development. Once again many wishes to my dear brothers and sisters of Manipur!
Thanks a lot!