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Shutdown greets Modi in Imphal

Shutdown greets Modi in Imphal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by party workers (R) Deserted look of busy Imphal street. (NP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, APR 7 | Publish Date: 4/7/2019 11:48:12 AM IST

 STILL CLAIMS NO BANDHS AFTER BJP CAME TO POWER

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday was greeted by a total Manipur shutdown, imposed by Manipur rebel groups, even as he claimed that under the BJP rule Manipur was free from “bandhs”.

Coordination Committee (CorCom), a conglomerate of major rebel groups operating in Manipur, called for a total shutdown to protest against Modi’s visit to Manipur. Normal life was crippled across in the valley, as almost all the streets in Imphal city wore a deserted look. Almost all shops and business establishments in the city area remained shut for the day. 

Modi, who arrived late in the evening (after 5 p.m.) against his scheduled arrival of 2.30 p.m., went on to address a BJP election rally in Imphal’s Hapta Kangjeibung. Despite knowing that bandhs and similar forms of strikes were hindering the development activities in the state, Modi said that the previous Congress government had done nothing to end such forms of strike.

However, after the BJP-led government was installed, calling bandh has been a thing of past, Modi claimed and added that Manipur was now free from bandhs under the “chawkidari” of BJP government.

Coming down heavily on the Congress for having failed to bring any development in the North East, including Manipur, despite years of its rule in the region, Modi said: “The BJP is working to correct the damages inflicted by the Congress towards the North East... The region is finally coming into the mainstream.”

He said the Congress did not fulfil its pre-election promise to make the region a manufacturing hub, adding, the grand old party is actually an “expert in manufacturing lies and false assurances”.

Modi took the opportunity to spell out various initiatives taken up by his government for the region, saying it was because of his government’s hard efforts that the people of the region could see the light of development.

Focussing his entire speech on the changes and development brought about in the last five years, he explained how better roads, rail and air connectivity was being provided to the North East.

He claimed that around 1500 km of National Highways (NHs) was added in the region and out of which 300 km was in Manipur.

Modi said the previous Congress had brought big projects to the state but failed to complete them. But the NDA government was compelled to complete the projects, with enhanced cost estimates, in order to fulfil the commitment given to the people of the region.

He said Congress remembers the Northeast and Manipur only at election times. “They will keep lots of promises to the people of the region but will forget after the elections over,” he said.

Acknowledging Manipur for producing a number of talented sports-persons over the years, he said the BJP government has decided to make the state a sports hub and set up a national sports university.

He further went on to remind the people about India’s airstrike in Balakot (Pakistan) in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, claiming that it was for the first time that the Indian military attacked a terror camp inside Pakistan territory.

Criticising Congress for seeking hard evidence of the air strike, Modi said this showed that Congress had less faith with the Indian forces.

As Prime Minister’s arrival was delayed, it compelled the state BJP leaders to take time in giving lengthy speeches in order to avoid people from leaving the venue.

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