Sunday, October 4, 2009

PM plays development card in Arunachal Pradesh

PASIGHAT (Arunachal Pradesh): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday spared no efforts to woo voters for the October 13 polls in Arunachal Pradesh. But significantly, he chose to keep mum on China's frequent claims over the north-eastern frontier state as its own. 

"Congress has an emotional attachment to Arunachal and its beautiful people. The party is always concerned for its weelbeing and development," Singh said, while addressing an election rally in Pasighat, the district headquarters of East Siang district and the oldest town of the landlocked state established in 1911 by the British. 

Braving scorching heat for hours together to get a glimpse of the PM and hear him, over 5,000 people erupted in joy the moment they saw the three Indian Air Force choppers carrying Singh and his entourage landing at the helipad adjacent to the rally venue. 

"Arunachal is always dear to Congress since the Nehru-Gandhi era. Successive Congress governments at the Centre have always been working for the development of this Himalayan state as well as the entire North-East," said the PM, clad in a traditional Adi attire. 

Expressing his happiness over the huge turnout at the rally and congratulating the people of Arunachal for sending two Congress members to the Lok Sabha, he said, "It was Indiraji (Indira Gandhi) who had provided the Union Territory status to Arunachal, while former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was instrumental in granting it statehood in 1987." 

"Arunachal needs a government that can work for development and only Congress can ensure this," he said. "Congress is the only party that can provide a stable and transparent government and work for the interests of the aam aadmi," he added. 

The PM said the Rs 24,000-crore development package that he had announced last year was aimed at bringing Arunachal on a par with other developed states in the country. 

Singh lauded the state government for maintaining transparency while executing the schemes under the package. He said, "The third party monitoring mechanism introduced by the state government with the help of panchayat leaders to implement the package is praiseworthy." 

To promote commercialisation of agriculture, generate income and facilitate remunerative prices to the farming community, the state government has established Krishi Vigyan Kendras at Dirang, Balek and Deomali, he said. "Besides, it has started construction of three cold storages one each in Dirang, Namsai and Ruksi to fulfil the need of fruit-growers," Singh added.

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