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Saturday, January 22, 2022

‘Double-engine govt’ brought Delhi to Northeast doorstep: PM Modi

Kicking off the BJP's campaign for the upcoming Manipur Assembly elections, Modi said Manipur was once “synonymous with blockades” but has become under the BJP rule “a symbol of a new work culture of change, peace and development”.

Written by Jimmy Leivon , Debraj Deb | Agartala, Imphal |
Updated: January 4, 2022 9:10:49 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration and foundation stone laying ceremony of various developmental projects, in Imphal. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Tripura and the poll-bound Manipur Tuesday to inaugurate development and infrastructure projects running into thousands of crores, said that the “double-engine government model” of the BJP ruling both the Centre and states succeeded in bringing “Delhi – the Government of India – to the doorstep of the Northeast” region.

“Every officer and minister was asked to visit the (Northeast) region and serve the people as per their local needs. You can see that there are five important faces from the region in key portfolios in the (Union) Council of Ministers,” the Prime Minister told a public meeting in Imphal.

Kicking off the BJP’s campaign for the upcoming Manipur Assembly elections, Modi said Manipur was once “synonymous with blockades” but has become under the BJP rule “a symbol of a new work culture of change, peace and development”. He claimed there was no more extremism in the border state.

The PM accused previous governments of neglecting the Northeastern states, charging them with using instability and division for political gains.

“Do not let Manipur fall into darkness again, for these forces are still at work to sow seeds of division,” he told a large gathering after inaugurating 13 projects worth around Rs1,850 crore and laying the foundation stone for nine projects worth around Rs 2,950 crore.

Modi thanked the people of Manipur for the formation of a stable BJP-led government and attributed to this stability various benefits that lakhs of people got under various central government schemes – such as the Kisan Samman Nidhi, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Ayushman Yojana – as well as free gas and electricity connections and Covid vaccines and toilets.

He praised the state’s youth, “especially the daughters of Manipur who have made the country proud all over the world” with their achievements in sports. “Today the rest of the country are taking inspiration from the players of Manipur,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi plays drums during his visit to Manipur. (PTI)

Among the projects for which foundation stones were laid by the PM are five national highways to be built at Rs1,700 crore. And the newly-inaugurated projects include a steel bridge built on the Barak river on NH37, which would decongest traffic between Imphal and Silchar in Assam. He also dedicated 2,387 mobile towers built at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore to the people.

In Agartala later in the day, the PM inaugurated a Rs 500-crore terminal building at the Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) Airport and said that Tripura was set to become a trade and business hub of the Northeast, under the HIRA (highways, internet services, railways and airways) model of development that he said he had promised in 2018.

Modi met a number of beneficiaries of different government schemes and also addressed a public meeting where, amid chants of “Modi Hai To Mumkin Hai”, he said Tripura had been reeling under poverty and underdevelopment under previous governments.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates a new Integrated Terminal building at the Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) airport, in Agartala, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, Tripura Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya and Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb are also seen. (PTI)

Stating there was no alternative to the “double-engine government” model, Modi also praised the Biplab Deb-led government for its implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, which he said benefited over 1.8 lakh poor people in the state. “We have received tremendous love here. This is huge capital. We shall return it with ‘double vikas’ through our ‘double-engine government’, ” he asserted.

The projects announced by Modi for Tripura included the Rs 500-crore Vidyajyoti scheme meant to enhance academic levels in 100 CBSE schools with the help of information and communication technology as well vocational training. Another project was the Mukhyamantri Tripura Grameen Samriddhi Yojana that would provide Rs 6 lakh to every village panchayat for developing modern amenities.

The MBB Airport is the second-busiest airport in the Northeast region, after Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati. With 19 flights operating daily from this airport, the old terminal’s capacity had become inadequate.

The new terminal building would be capable of handling 4-5 times more passengers than the existing terminal, which was commissioned in 2001 with a maximum capacity of handling 500 passengers including departures and arrivals.

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