Phulbari (Meghalaya): Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a poll rally here on Thursday, batted for the development of Meghalaya and said the north-eastern State was not safe in the hands of the Congress.
He appealed to the people to give the BJP a chance to ”serve the State” and assured them that the party had the single agenda of development.
The 60-member Meghalaya Assembly is scheduled to go to the polls on 27 February.
In a bid to reach out to the majority Christian population of Meghalaya, Modi said the Centre did not remain a ”silent spectator” when missionaries and workers of minority communities were terrorised in conflict zones.
Modi’s rally at Shyamnagar village in Phulbari of West Garo Hills district was the first in the state by a prime minister.
”For 50 years, there has been nothing. We ask you to give us five years and let us undo the damage of the last 50 years. Try us and if we fail, throw us out.
”Give us (BJP) a chance to serve the state. We will ensure good governance, guided by the philosophy of sabka saath, sabka vikas…I promise you that a BJP government in Meghalaya will account for every rupee spent,” the prime minister said.
Without good roads, there could be no development, he said, adding that in the Garo Hills, the roads had become cultivating fields due to their total disrepair. ”In five years, I assure you that we will bring the change the people want,” Modi said.
Reaching out to the Christian population, Modi said, ”We have not remained a silent spectator when Christian missionaries and minority workers were terrorised in conflict zones.”
He cited examples of how the BJP-led government at the Centre had helped rescue 46 nurses from Kerala when they were abducted by terrorists in Iraq.
”Father Alex Premkumar, a missionary working in Afghanistan, had been languishing in terrorist captivity for 18 long months and even his family had given up on his being alive, but we had not. Our government worked tirelessly to ensure his safe return and when I called his sister to inform her about his rescue, she could not believe that the prime minister was calling her and that her brother was alive,” Modi said.
He also mentioned the help extended by his government to Father Tom to get him safely back from Yemen.
Hitting out at the Congress government in the State, he said, ”There is a long list of scams to the credit of the State government and Meghalaya is not safe in the hands of the Congress” and alleged that the State government was involved in a scam in the recruitment of teachers.
He said funds for highways were enhanced from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore for Meghalaya.
Funds had also been given for the construction of 21,000 houses for the poor, the prime minister said and alleged that the Congress government had stalled the construction of about 16,000 houses.
Stating that the Centre wanted to further strengthen its “Act East Policy”, Modi said it would open up opportunities for the people in the north-east.
Taking a dig at Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, he said though the CM was a doctor himself, the healthcare sector was in bad shape in the State.