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PM promises development, peace in north-east
K Anurag in Guwahati | February 27, 2008 17:07 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Wednesday reiterated Congress' commitment to facilitate 'all round development that leads to peace, prosperity and security to all' while calling upon the people of Meghalaya and Nagaland to vote for Congress to strengthen the party's hands in achieving the goal.
The prime minister on Wednesday addressed two election rallies of the party at Kohima in Nagaland and at Shillong in Meghalaya to woo voters before Assembly elections in both the hill states of the region.
Criticising the erstwhile Neiphu Rio led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland government for failing to deliver in respect of speeding up development of Nagaland, Dr Singh laid stress that the people should opt for change of power in their state and Congress was the only alternative for it.
Addressing a well-attended rally at the Kohima local ground, Dr Singh promised a peaceful and prosperous Nagaland and said, "It is the peace that will lead to sustained development in Nagaland and Congress is committed for it."
Flaying the Nagaland People's Front-led DAN government for 'downplaying the tribal issues', Dr Singh said Congress was the only party which cared for development of all ethnic groups while protecting their unique identity and culture.
Later lauding the people of Meghalaya for attending the party's election rally in Shillong defying a bandh call given by the banned militant group, Hynnewtrap National Liberation Council, Dr Singh said, "Whenever anyone thinks of the north-east, the picture of Shillong, the queen of the region, comes to the mind. The place has immense tourism potential and same is true for the entire state of Meghalaya."
"The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in coordination with the party-led government in Meghalaya has accorded top priority to develop road and air connectivity, set up world class tourism infrastructure in Meghalaya to generate employment for the youth," he said.
Pointing out that young boys and girls from Shillong and other parts of Meghalaya were well-educated and bright, Dr Singh said there was no reason why the picturesque hill city couldn't emerge as major information technology centre in the country.
He said work on the software technology park in Meghalaya would start this year.
"Congress has in its agenda to set up more power projects in Meghalaya to light all the villages and facilitate setting up of industries in the state. Once these power projects materialise, Meghalaya will not only become self-sufficient but also will be able to supply power to other N-E states," Dr Singh said.
Dr Singh also flaunted the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme of the UPA government while wooing voters in Meghalaya.
He said from April 2008 all the seven districts of Meghalaya would be covered under the scheme to generate employment for the needy.
He promised ample funds under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to improve infrastructure in Shillong to convert it to a premier hill station in the country.