Describing the northeastern region as a "piece of one's heart", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said there will be no let-up in efforts to restore peace in Manipur, which will soon walk the path of progress once again.
Responding to the no confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, Modi assured the people of Manipur that the Centre and the state governments were working together to restore peace in the violence-hit state and asserted that culprits in the heinous crimes against women will face stringent punishment.
"The violence in Manipur is saddening. Crimes against women are unacceptable and the central and state governments are working together to ensure the guilty are punished," he said.
"The north-east is our jigar ka tukda (piece of our heart). The problems of Manipur are presented in such a manner as if they had begun in the recent past," Modi said.
"Some may or may not be here, but we will find a solution to this challenge together," the prime minister said after the opposition staged a walkout midway through his speech.
"I would like to assure all the citizens of the country that peace will prevail in Manipur, soon. I would like to assure the people of Manipur, especially women, that the country is with you. Parliament is with you," Modi said.
He said Home Minister Amit Shah had apprised the house of the situation in Manipur in great detail on Wednesday.
"Peace will be established there. There will be no let-up in efforts to ensure that Manipur walks on the path of progress once again," the prime minister said.
Modi said the problem started in Manipur after a decision of the court and the turn of events that took place later triggered a cycle of violence.
"Several families faced difficulties, many lost their near and dear ones .. women face grave crimes. These crimes are unforgivable. The central and state governments are making every effort to ensure that the culprits get stringent punishment," he said.
Modi referred to incidents such as the use of Indian Air Force to attack the people in Mizoram, a radio transmission of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962, leaving the people of the northeast to fend for themselves during the Chinese invasion as cases in point of the Congress's "neglect" of the region.
"Congress and its politics are the root cause of all the problems of the northeast," the prime minister said.
He recalled the time of Congress government in the state when every institution operated at the beck and call of extremist organisations and putting up a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi in government offices was forbidden.
Modi also mentioned the bombing of the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the Museum of Azad Hind Fauj in Moirang.
He said that in the current government, the ministers have done 400 night stays in various district headquarters of the northeast and he himself has visited the region 50 times.
"I have an emotional attachment with the Northeast. Even before becoming prime minister, I travelled across the region," he said.