SHILLONG: Sounding election campaigning bugle in Meghalaya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that 15 years of Congress rule has ruined Meghalaya.
“The wave for change, which began with the Assam elections, is now reaching Meghalaya. This state can do wonders. Fifteen years of Congress rule has ruined Meghalaya,” the Prime Minister said while addressing a rally here.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is already governing Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, is now eyeing to form government in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, where elections are due early next year.
Speaking after inaugurating Shillong-Nongstoin-Rongjeng-Tura Road, the Prime Minster used the platform to launch an attack on the Mukul Sangma-led government in the state.
“Why has the Congress government in Meghalaya committed so many scams? There was irregularity in the appointment of teachers. Incompetent people were appointed on the recommendations of Congress MLA and MP. Today, there is a shortage of 1,700 teachers in the primary schools of Meghalaya,” Prime Minister Modi said.
"Tired of such a corrupt system, Meghalaya's brilliant youth have been frustrated by the unemployment. Who is responsible for this?" asked Prime Minister Modi.
He also trained guns at Sangma and said, “The chief minister of Meghalaya is a doctor but what is the state of the health sector in the state. Why are people not getting proper healthcare."
The prime minister said it was unfortunate that that there were scams in the meals being given to children in Meghalaya.
Setting the tone for the 2018 elections in the state, the prime minister said the BJP's agenda was “development, speedy development, and all-round development”.
He reminded people that he was the only Prime Minister after late Morarji Desai who took part in the North-Eastern Council meeting.
"I inaugurated the North-Eastern Council meeting in Shillong last year. You know very well what was the attitude of previous union governments towards the North East. The North-Eastern Council was formed in 1972 to ensure that projects in the North East should not be delayed, but this council was also not taken very seriously," Prime Minister Modi said.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that development of the North East is his government’s one of the top priorities.
“When our government was formed in 2014, I had given clear instructions to my cabinet colleagues that one of them will travel to the North East. And, that tour shouldn’t be that one would go in the morning and come back to Delhi in the evening. That is why when our government’s ministers come to this area; they stop here, meet with people and take direct information about their problems and needs,” the Prime Minister said.
He also pointed out his government has sanctioned rail and road projects worth Rs. 79000 crore for the North East.
“Across the North East, the Union Government has sanctioned around four thousand kilometers of National Highways, for an amount of over Rs. 32000 crore. The Government of India is executing fifteen New Rail Line projects of nearly fourteen hundred kilometer length. This will cost around Rs. 47000 crore, and boost rail infrastructure in the North Eastern Region,” Prime Minister Modi said.
The Prime Minister said the Centre wants to make Meghalaya a top tourist destination in the country.
“During my last visit to Meghalaya in May 2016, I had talked about promotion of tourism in the State. We want to make Meghalaya a top tourist destination. Government of India has sanctioned around Rs. 100 crore for development of tourist destinations in the State,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Modi inaugurated 261 kilometer long two-Laning of Shillong-Nongstoin Section of NH 106 and Nongstoin- Rongjeng Section of NH 127-B.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 60 MW Tuirial hydropower project in Mizoram’s Aizawl.
Prime Minister Modi's visit to the Northeast comes ahead of the Mizoram legislative assembly elections, which is expected to take place in 2018.