Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Friday inaugurated and laid foundation stones of 21 development projects worth around Rs 1,311 crore at Moirang in Bishnupur district, Manipur. The home minister laid the foundation stones of nine schemes worth Rs 1,060 crore and inaugurated 12 schemes worth Rs 300 crore.
Addressing a gathering at Moirang in Manipur, Amit Shah took a jibe at the Congress, stating that the Congress coined the term 'Look East' and hence kept on looking.
"But the Modi government has adopted the Act East Policy and we are working day in and out to develop and bring about peace in Northeast India," the home minister said.
Amit Shah said he laid the foundation of 29 projects worth Rs 2,450 crore in 2022.
"This is the difference between the Congress and the BJP. In the last eight years, the Modi government spent Rs 3.45 lakh crore for Northeast India which is equal to what had been spent for the region in the 25 years before it," he added.
Amit Shah also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself visited the region 51 times.
"We promised the people of Manipur before the election that if a BJP government is formed we will liberate the state from bandhs, blockades ,curfews and insurgency. Six years have passed by and no such incidents have taken place here," he added.
The Union minister further said that Northeast India which was earlier infamous for bandhs, curfews, infiltration, drugs and arms trade, corruption terrorism and identity feuds.
"But in the eight years of Modi rule, these issues have been replaced by amenities of development, connectivity infra, sports, investment in organic agriculture," he said.
Amit Shah also commemorated the freedom fighters and great personalities of Manipur and said, "Maharaj Kulachandra fought against the British but when he was jailed in Andaman and Nicobar island the people of Manipur continued the struggle and ensured freedom. It is the BJP that named the place where Maharaj Kulachandra and 22 of his aides were prisoners after Manipur."
Moirang was where the Tricolor was unfurled for the first time by none other than Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Azad Hind Fauj, he said.
Speaking about revealing a 165 feet-long Tiranga in Moirang on Friday he said, "It was an emotional moment for me today to hoist the tallest Tricolor in the Northeast there."
Commemorating Netaji, he said he covered an excruciatingly painful journey of 15,000 km to make India free.
"From Calcutta to Berlin and then he came to India to make it free from the British. He was successful as he freed Manipur," he said.
He also thanked Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh for preserving the homes that suffered British shelling during the war the way they were when they suffered the damage and for making a memorial of the martyrs of the Indian National Army.
"This memorial apart from inspiring the youth of Manipur to live for the country will make for a great tourist spot, because Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated it," he said.
"Journalists used to make fun when we made our attempts to win elections here. But the people of Manipur did the magic of giving the BJP a thumping victory," he said.
He also said that electoral pundits in Delhi called this victory a fluke and could not be repeated, but the people of Manipur proved them wrong again by seating a BJP government again in power.
"In the next elections our votes and seats increased and we formed a government with a full majority," he said adding that people voted in favor of peace and stability ushered in by the BJP instead of violence during the Congress regime when people had to buy a gas cylinder at an exorbitant price of Rs 3,000.
He also said that the Churachandpur Medical College built at a cost of Rs 46 crore, which he inaugurated on Friday hosts 100 medical students of whom 22 are from other states.
"There was a time when students of Manipur used to leave the state to avail education. But now it is the opposite when students from other states have come here for their studies. This is a moment of pride for Manipur," he said.
He also appealed to the Manipur University and the Manipur Central University to research and prove that the modern sport of Polo originated in Manipur. The minister also inaugurated a 122 feet tall statue of Polo in the Marjing Statue Complex.
He said that journalists often say that PM Modi connected the Northeast with road, rail and air but he said that it is a small achievement compared to what the Prime Minister achieved in connecting hearts.
"PM Modi with his sensitivity and hard work made the people of Northeast feel that they are an integral part of this great nation and India is proud of it," he said.
He also said that the Modi government signed peace accords with the NLFT in Tripura, Bodo and Karbi Peace Accords in Assam, and Bru settlement accord in Tripura to ensure peace in the region.
"I remember that the women in Manipur agitated to remove AFSPA from India. But the BJP government ended the insurgency in Manipur which led to the removal of AFSPA from six districts in the state," he said.
He said that the journey of blockade-dependent Manipur to self-dependent Manipur that the state has embarked on would lead to the path of development.
"Manipur also got an Inner Line Permit during the Modi regime to secure its unique civilization. To make Manipur a sports hub India's first sports university was opened in Manipur with an expenditure of Rs 816 crore and spread across 325 acres of land.This is the reason why sports persons like Mary Kom and Meerabai Chanu are bringing laurels to the country.
"In the hill districts tribal museums are being constructed, under Ayushman Bharat Yojana 3.65 lakh people are availing of health insurance up to Rs 5 lakh, Rs 6,000 per year is sent to six lakh farmers in Manipur by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,1.55 lakh free gas cylinders were distributed in the state,17 ima markets have been built with Rs 130 crore to empower female traders, 68,000 homes have been built for the poor,5,790 start-ups being provided funds of Rs 110 crore and diagnosis of 13 deathly diseases are done free of cost in homes and to make Manipur drug free, 1780 acres of opium cultivation have been identified by drones and destroyed," he said.
He added that the Modi government has pledged to make India drug-free before India celebrates 100 years of independence. "But in Manipur we will make the state drug-free before the next election itself," Amit Shah added.