Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted that his government had worked hard to bring the northeast into the national mainstream and accused the opposition of neglecting the region and being credit hungry.
At a series of functions here, Modi claimed that in the last nine years since his government came to power, the definition of connectivity had been changed bringing the northeast nearer to the rest of the country.
In what many analysts saw as an energetic early start to next year's general elections, the prime minister made attacking speeches and attended programs and cultural galas, where among other things he inaugurated a slew of medical, railway and other infrastructure projects, besides speaking at the platinum jubilee celebrations of Gauhati High Court here.
Modi accompanied by his trusted pointsman for the northeast Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, also witnessed a mega-Bihu dance performance where more than 11,000 dancers and drummers performed at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, which has made it to the Guinness World Records.
Lashing out at the opposition, Modi asserted early in the day, We make our policies on the basis of countrymen first ... (but) those who came before us were credit hungry and credit hungry people destroy the nation.
He added, We work with 'Seva Bhaav' (spirit of service) and 'samarpan' (dedication) for the people.
The prime minister claimed that the Northeast had suffered for decades under family-controlled politics, regionalism, corruption and insecurity during which development was not possible and the region paid a huge price for this.
He also stressed that his government had worked hard to ensure dramatic improvement in social and physical infrastructure in the Northeast over the last 9 years.
The Northeast was distant for earlier governments...we have served with dedication to bring it near, the prime minister said.
"In the last nine years, we have changed the old definition of connectivity. It's now four dimensional -- physical, digital, social and cultural connectivity," he said.
He said that in the past few years, youth from the region have left violence and moved on the path to peace.
The atmosphere of mistrust is disappearing from the North East, the distance between hearts is disappearing We need to move further closer, Modi added.
Besides dedicating Northeast's first AIIMS at Guwahati, the prime minister also virtually inaugurated three medical colleges at Nalbari, Nagaon and Kokrajhar.
The 500-bed tertiary care teaching hospitals with 24 undergraduate departments in the three medical colleges will start with 100 annual MBBS student intake, taking the total MBBS student intake to 1500 in Assam.
He also laid the foundation of the Rs 546 crore Assam Advanced Healthcare Innovation Institute (AAHII), a joint initiative of the state government and IIT Guwahati.
AAHII aims to promote inventions and innovations in medicine and healthcare, nurturing multidisciplinary research and development in frontier areas of medicine by marrying engineering with healthcare.
The prime minister also launched the distribution of 1.1 crore Ayushman cards to beneficiaries who will be able to avail cashless healthcare medical treatment benefits up to Rs five lakh with these cards.
Later in the day, while speaking at the concluding ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Gauhati High Court here, Modi emphasised that technology needs to be brought into play to speed up the justice delivery system, especially in remote areas such as in the northeast.
Technology can help bring justice to remote areas such as in the northeast, he said.
He maintained that there is "unlimited scope for use of technology" to modernise the justice delivery system in the country.
Praising the work of the Supreme Court's e-committee in this regard, he mentioned that Budgetary allocation has been made for phase 3 of the e-court mission.
Referring to global efforts to use AI in the judicial system to bring efficiency, Modi said, We should also try to increase efforts to improve the ease of justice for the common citizen through AI.
Indicating how lack of clarity in property ownership has proven to be a burden on the judiciary, he gave an example of how drones have been used to bring a solution by mapping properties in over 1 lakh villages under the PM Swamitva Yojana.
Property card distribution to lakhs of citizens have already been accomplished, which will result in a decline in property-related cases and ease the lives of citizens, the PM added.
He also said, Alternative dispute resolution systems are vital. The North East has rich traditions in this regard, lauding the Gauhati High Court for recently coming out with six books on customary laws of the region.
He also emphasised the country's law should be written in an easy language, comprehensible to ordinary people, as it enhances citizen's trust in the country and its systems.
Effort is to draft laws in simple language and this approach will be greatly helpful for the courts of our country, he said, also mentioning about the BHASHINI portal which aims to help every citizen to access the internet in their own language.
Modi on Friday evening concluded his tour of Assam by rolling out a series of railway projects across the Northeast, besides commissioning a methanol plant and laying the foundation stone for a bridge over the Brahmaputra river.
The prime minister also witnessed a mega- Bihu dance performance - which has made it to the Guinness World Records - where more than 11,000 dancers and drummers performed at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.
The mega-performance made it to two Guinness World Records -- the largest Bihu dance performance in a single venue and the largest 'dhol' (traditional percussion instrument) recital in a single venue.
"I can't forget this moment in my life. This is unprecedented and fabulous. This is Assam. Today, the whole world is witnessing Bihu," Modi said while addressing the gathering.
He said that India's specialities are its culture and tradition, which, for thousands of years, are uniting all people of the land.
"Our biggest dream is a developed India. I appeal to the youths of India and Assam to come forward. You have the courage to win the world," the Prime Minister said.
The PM also virtually inaugurated the five railway works along with other projects from the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, where he is on a day-long tour.
The new railway projects rolled out by him are Digaru-Lumding and Gauripur-Abhayapuri sections, while doubling of tracks between New Bongaigaon and Dhup Dhara was also inaugurated.
Electrification of the Raninagar-Jalpaiguri-Guwahati, Senchoa-Silghat and Senchoa-Mairabari sections was also launched by Modi. The total cost of these projects is Rs 7,300 crore.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for the Palasbari-Sualkuchi bridge over the Brahmaputra river. It will be constructed at an expenditure of Rs 3,200 crore over the next 3-4 years.
Modi also virtually commissioned a methanol plant at Namrup in Dibrugarh by Assam Petrochemicals Ltd (APL) with 500 tonnes per day (TPD) capacity, constructed at an investment of Rs 1,709 crore.
"With commissioning of this methanol plant, now this chemical can be exported to neighbouring countries also, apart from catering to the domestic demand," he said.
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