Millennium Post

No intention to remove Art 371

New Delhi/Itanagar: Reaffirming the government's commitment to protect the unique culture of the North-East, Union Home minister Amit Shah said in Itanagar on Thursday that misinformation was being spread after the abrogation of Article 370 that identical fate awaited Article 371 in the region.

Most states that have special provisions under Article 371 are in the North-East. These provisions are aimed at preserving their cultural heritage and customary laws.

Addressing a gathering to mark the 34th foundation day of Arunachal Pradesh, Shah said the North-East was only geographically united with the rest of India before 2014 when Narendra Modi assumed the office of the Prime Minister. "The real emotional integration of the region with the rest of the country happened only under the Modi government," he said.

Shah said: "Misinformation was spread after the abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, that Article 371 will also be scrapped. It will never happen. Nobody has any such intention."

Referring to the problems of militancy and inter-state boundary disputes in the region, the Union Home minister said the Modi government was committed to their resolution.

"The government has already started negotiations with various militant organisations to restore peace in the region. "It recently inked the Bodo Peace Accord, besides resolving the Bru-Reang issue and ending the indefinite blockade in Manipur.

"When we come to seek your votes in 2024, the North-East will have been free from problems like militancy and inter-state strife," he stated.

Underlining the Prime Minister's commitment to the development of the North-East, the minister said, Modi visited the region 30 times in five years, six times a year. He said while only Rs 89,168 crore was allocated to the region by the 13th Finance Commission when the UPA was in power, it shot up to Rs 3,13,374 lakh crore under the 14th Finance Commission after the NDA assumed office.

Under the North-East Council (NEC), a total of 474 new projects have been sanctioned for the region, apart from national highway projects worth Rs 32,000 crore. By 2024, all state capitals in the region will have road and air connectivity, he said.

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