BURNPUR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said West Bengal will help to build the spirit of 'Team India' that is needed to take the country forward.
"I am saying that without 'Team India', the country cannot progress. To take India forward, this land of Bengal will come to the country's help," Modi said in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the inauguration of a modernised IISCO Steel Plant here.
To take India forward in steel production, the West Bengal government had made this project successful and that, he said, was an example of the spirit of 'Team India' at work.
The prime minister said that had the state government not supported the endeavour to modernise the steel plant, the project would not have been possible.
Referring to the recent Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, Modi said he was proud that the states of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura had worked with Delhi in addressing the vexed issue which had been lying unsolved for the past 41 years, since the time of Mujibur Rahman.
"Mamata's government from West Bengal, (other governments from) Assam and Tripura, worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Delhi to solve this. For the first time, we can be proud of the fact that Parliament, whether it is Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha showed no opposition (on the issue)," the prime minister said.
"Team India is the Centre and states working together. If there is 'Team India', then we can solve international issues and internal ones very easily".
"Earlier, the economic development of India was decided by the progress made in Bengal... Bengal will have to climb the ladder of development in the interest of the nation," the prime minister said.
"Bengal will surely bounce bank in the coming days and become an important economic power," he averred, adding, "If Bengal and Kolkata cannot become strong, then no part of the country can become strong."
Stating that the second Green Revolution can be led by the eastern states, Modi said the idea was to bring the eastern region to be in tandem with the western part of the country.
"If we want to make India strong, farmers' welfare has to be ensured and, if we want to feed the country, a second Green Revolution can be started from here and the economic situation can be changed," he said.
Bengal, Bihar and the north-eastern states have huge potential as they have fertile land and abundant water, he added.
"You can see a flurry of economic activity in India's western part, but the eastern region remains neglected... If one part of India is ill, the country cannot become strong and our endeavour is to develop this part of the country," the prime minister said.
He also said that the coal-bearing states in the eastern region, including West Bengal, would benefit from the proceeds of the coal-block auctions and a foundation would be created for the welfare of the tribals living in mining areas.
Earlier, the West Bengal chief minister said that the Centre and the states will have to work hand-in-hand for the nation's development.
"If we can work together, the country moves ahead. When we divide, the country is doomed. We don't want division among people. Politics will be there and development will also be there.
"The federal and central structure will be there and we will work together within the ambit of the Constitution", Banerjee said.
The Asansol-Durgapur industrial belt is adjoining to Bihar and Jharkhand and "life" has to be infused in this region, she said.
"The workers in the area will only survive if life is infused in this area. That will happen when industry comes", she said.
She urged the prime minister to take up the modernisation of the Durgapur steel plant as well by clearing the Rs 20,000 crore project for which the state government had given land.