GUWAHATI: Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today blamed the successive Central governments since independence for underdevelopment and backwardness of North East.
"The primary reason for sustenance of insurgency in North Eastern states is underdevelopment and backwardness. There was hardly any attention to develop this region during the British rule. Regrettably, the attitude of Union Government in the last 68 years of Independence has also not been very encouraging," Sarkar said.
Though insurgency outwardly appears to be a security problem, it's roots lie in poverty, deprivation and discontent coupled with various historical and political factors, he said in his address during a security meeting of all North Eastern Chief Ministers with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here. "There has been palpable letdown on the part of the Central government to support the North Eastern states to fully exploit its rich natural resources.
The immense growth potential of Northeast states by economic integration using Look East (Act East) Policy has also not yielded tangible results, Sarkar observed. For development of North East, Sarkar advocated "massive capital investment" to improve rail, road and air connectivity between both intra-region and the mainland, upscale irrigation facilities and improve power generation.
The Tripura Chief Minister urged the Centre to persuade Bangladesh to destroy all terrorist hideouts on their soil, freeze bank accounts of top leaders, arrest the militants and hand over them to India. He said incidents like the recent attack on Army in
Manipur not only created a feeling of insecurity among people, they also had adverse impact on development activities and overall perception about the region.
Sarkar emphasised the North Eastern states' crucial needs entailed strengthening border surveillance, continuation of central funds, assistance to infrastructure projects, support to strengthen and modernise police forces among others.