Modi Vows To Bring All State Capitals Of NE On Rail Map

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched BJP’s campaign for Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura, which go to the polls early next year, by announcing that the Centre would invest Rs.90,000 crore on building roads in northeast in the next two to three years.

Modi said Rs.60,000 crore would be spent under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme and Rs.30,000 crore under the Bharatmala project to build a network of highways and roads in the northeast. He also promised to bring all state capitals of the northeast on the rail map.

Launching the North East Special Infrastructure Scheme, a blueprint for plugging gaps in infrastructure, the PM, who was on his maiden visit to Mizoram, said NESIS would focus on water supply, power, connectivity, tourism, education and health. “Lack of connectivity is one of the biggest hurdles in the path of development in the north-eastern region… Our motto is transformation through transportation,” he said at rallies in Aizawl and Shillong. He also announced that seaplanes will be introduced in the north-east to enhance air communication.

Wooing Christians, who dominate three of the four states scheduled to go to the polls next year—Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland— the PM took the mike at the Shillong rally after Union tourism minister Alphons Joseph Kannanthanam, announcing that the latter was a ‘practising Christian’ who had found an honourable place in the BJP-led government.

He said BJP’s only agenda in Meghalaya and other north-eastern states is development.

Modi began his address in chaste Khasi, “Kumno phi long (how are you)”, and then went on to take a jibe at Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma. He said despite the latter being a doctor, the health sector in the state was in a shambles.

Sporting colourful traditional regalia, representing the three prominent tribes of Meghalaya — the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos — with the feathers on his headgear fluttering, Modi said coming to the ‘abode of clouds’ always makes him happy. Lambasting Congress for having done “precious little” for the development of the state in over 15 years of its rule, Modi said the present government has favoured the ‘mining mafia’ at the cost of the common people.

“BJP will ensure that Meghalaya scales greater heights of development. It is time for change and time for BJP,” he said, adding that BJP will turn Meghalaya into the most prized tourist destination in the country and ensure employment and security for all. “A palpable wave in favour of BJP is there in Meghalaya,” he said.

In Aizawl, Modi inaugurated the 60-MW Tuirial hydel project, making Mizoram the third power surplus state in northeast after Sikkim and Tripura.

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