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Speed up pace of growth in north-east: PM

January 31, 2008 14:18 IST

On his first visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday asked people to speed up the pace of growth in the north-eastern region where the Congress has played a major role in the all round development.

"The Congress party has played a significant role in the allround development of the north-east, particularly Arunachal Pradesh. Four decades ago, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi had accorded Union Territory status to Arunachal Pradesh and two decades back Rajiv Gandhi had made it a state," he said.

Dr Singh, who arrived in Itanagar on a two-day visit, was addressing party workers after inaugurating the new Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, headquarters of the Pradesh Congress Committee, in Itanagar.

The prime minister, who was accompanied by Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, said Arunachal Pradesh had a special place in Rajiv Gandhi's heart and he was happy that the new building was named after him.

He said both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi gave special emphasis on the rapid development of the entire north-eastern region, especially Arunachal Pradesh by launching various schemes.

Dr Singh pointed out that he was a member of Parliament from the region and said his government has been taking a number of steps for the fast progress of the north-east in all spheres.

The prime minister urged the people to work hard and fulfil the dreams of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and the vision of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi. 

The prime minister paid rich tributes to noted Congress leader in the state Omang Deori who died recently. In her death, not only the state but the entire nation has lost a great leader, he said.

Soon after reaching the airport in Itanagar in an Indian Air Force chopper from Lilabari Indian Air Force station in Assam, Dr Singh visited the Ramakrishna Mission hospital.

He met some patients and enquired about their health and lauded the service rendered by the Ramakrishna Mission for the welfare of the people.

The hospital is one of the biggest in the region and patients come from even far-flung areas.

The prime minister, who was accompanied by Governor J J Singh and Union Minister for Development of Northeastern Region Mani Shankar Aiyar and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan was briefed about the development schemes taken up by the Ramakrishna Mission.

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