Thursday, February 22, 2024

PM calls upon Assam ultras to come for talks

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From Our Correspondent

Guwahati: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday said Assam has the potential to become the ‘engine of growth’ for the entire Northeastern region of the country and called upon the ‘few insurgent groups that are still remaining outside the democratic process to come forward to resolve their problem by engaging themselves in dialogue process with the government.’

Addressing the inauguration of Platinum Jubilee Celebration of Assam Legislative Assembly, which had come into being on April 7, 1937, here , Dr Singh said the social peace and political stability that had been achieved in Assam during over last ten years of consecutive Congress governments headed by chief minister Tarun Gogoi were vital in putting Assam on the path of sustained social and economic development.

The function was held in presence of an august gathering that included Governor of Assam J B Patnaik, Meghalaya Governor R S Mooshahary, Bihar Governor Devananda Konwar, Speakers of various legislative Assemblies of the region, Union Minister for DONER Paban Singh Ghatowar , members of Parliament, freedom fighters etc.

The PM said new initiatives taken by the Government of India to strengthen ties with neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar would benefit all the Northeastern states.

“Last year I went to Bangladesh and we initiated number of new steps to embolden our ties in various sectors. I scheduled to go to Myanmar next month and intend to explore ways with Myanmar government to increase cooperation in trade, economy and connectivity with ASEAN countries. Assam and other Northeastern states can and should play a leading role in our efforts to look East,” the Prime Minister said.

He said, “As we are celebrating the 75 years of this great institution (Assam Assembly), we should remember that there are many nations that are just waking up to the new light of democracy. We (India) as the largest democracy in the world we welcome all those who seek a world of freedom and constitutional government.”

He called upon the legislators of the country to remember their Constitutional obligation to work ‘honestly, effectively and provide capable leadership to the people’ in the true spirit of democracy.

Dr Singh said he was happy that he could come to his adopted state Assam on this week of Rongali Bihu celebrations wished the people sustained peace, progress and prosperity. “I and my family remain indebted to the people of Assam for their love, warmth and blessings over the years. I was born in a dusty corner of this sub-continent that is no longer part of India. I was rendered a homeless , but it is Assam where I have finally found a home that has given me a sense of belonging,” said Dr Singh who has represented Assam in Rajya Sabha since 1991.

The PM also inaugurated a state-of the art facility in Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute immediately after his arrival in the city. The PM visited the state amid tight security in view of the 12-hour bandh called by the outlawed ULFA (anti-talks) on Friday.

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