Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday claimed that the Congress did not give due importance to the development of the eight states of the Northeast during the 51 years it ruled India, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has discovered ‘Ashta Lakshmi’, the eight forms of the goddess of wealth, in the region.
Development has started taking place in the North-eastern region after Modi became the prime minister seven years ago, Sonowal said at a programme here.
“Ashta Lakshmi is not a political slogan. Modi-ji scripted it after studying the Northeast’s hidden potential in trade, commerce, natural resources and diverse culture. He has given a new identity to the Northeast,” the Union minister for ports, shipping and waterways said.
Sonowal, also the Union AYUSH minister, said Modi has instructed all Union ministers to visit the region to expedite development works. “As the prime minister, Modi-ji himself visited the Northeast for 50 times, probably highest by any prime minister of the country,” he said.
Sonowal, who is in Tripura to review programmes of the waterways and AYUSH ministries, said the region will represent itself as a new growth engine for the nation. The eight states of the region are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. “The Centre has been focusing on infrastructure development based on science and technology,” he said.
Terming the Budget as a roadmap for the country’s journey for the next 25 years, Sonowal said the Prime Minister Gati Shakti project will speed up development works and avoid inter-ministerial conflict.
The PM Gati Shakti is a national master plan for multi-modal connectivity, a platform to bring 16 ministries including railways and roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects.
Sonowal also praised the Biplab Kumar Deb government in Tripura for successful implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and other flagship programmes.