Development of north-east must for overall growth: BJP chief Amit Shah

BJP president Amit Shah with Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu, CM of Manipur N Biren Singh, CM of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, CM of Nagaland T R Zeliang, CM of Sikkim Pawan Kumar Chamling during the 2nd Conclave of NEDA. Photo: PTI
Eyeing power in all eight north- eastern states, BJP president Amit Shah said the three-year- old Modi government had done "several times more work" in the region than the Congress had in 65 years.

Addressing the inaugural session of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), Shah said the region was top priority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Development of the eight states was a must for overall growth of the country, he said.

The meeting was attended by the chief ministers of Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

"The development done by the Modi government in the last three years for the long-neglected north-eastern region is several times more than the work done by Congress-led governments in the last 65 years," Shah said.

Work had not finished but just started, he added.

Citing numerous initiatives of the Modi government for the region, Shah said a Union minister visited one of the eight states in the region every 15 days.

He termed the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh a milestone in the history of the north-east and said the government was committed to the overall development of the area.

The BJP president expressed the confidence that all eight chief ministers would be from the alliance in the next NEDA meeting.

Emphasising the importance of NEDA, the BJP leader said, "It is not only a political platform but a platform to culturally unite all eight north-eastern states and increase their involvement in national affairs."

Safe borders, inclusive development and national integration are on the agenda at the daylong NEDA meeting.

Himanta Biswa Sarma, a minister in the BJP government in Assam who has been a key figure in expanding the party's footprints in the region, is convener of the alliance.

North-east states have used the NEDA platform to sort out boundary, law and and other disputes, Sarma said at the meeting.

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