Modi hails patriotic Arunachalis
Itanagar: Visiting Arunachal Pradesh under the shadow of protests by China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hailed the patriotic nature of the people of the border state, saying they greet each other with 'Jai Hind' and announced naming the New Delhi-Naharlagun Express as "Arunachal Express".
Modi's second visit to Arunachal Pradesh was vehemently opposed by China which urged India to refrain from taking any action that may "complicate" the boundary question. It is his first visit to the frontier state after the Army s standoff with Chinese soldiers in Doklam plateau last year.
Modi, who earlier visited Arunachal Pradesh in February 2015, told a public rally here that he "cannot stay without meeting you all". China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet.
Clad in traditional tribal headgear, Modi dedicated the state civil secretariat building to the people, laid the foundation stone for the Academic Block of the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science and inaugurated the Dorjee Khandu state convention centre. "My visit to Arunachal Pradesh is related to three key projects in the state. The secretariat is already functional and this was a good step taken by the state government," he said at the rally at the Indira Gandhi Park here before leaving for Tripura to address election rallies. The prime minister hailed the patriotic nature of the people of Arunachal, saying they greet each other with 'Jai Hind'.
Modi also announced that the New Delhi-Naharlagun Express would now be called "Arunachal Express". The train, he said, will connect the "people of the state with mainland India".
The frequency of the train, connecting the national capital to the state, would also be increased from one to two days a week. Modi complimented Chief Minister Pema Khandu for the "wonderful work he is doing". "He has prepared a top quality roadmap on how Arunachal Pradesh should be in 2027. And, he did not only ask officials for inputs but also people from all walks of life," he added. On other issues, Modi accused the previous UPA regime of neglecting the North East and said his government has given priority to the region with ministers and senior officials regularly visiting it.
Seeking to highlight the significance of the region, he said important meetings should not only be held in the national capital but "we must go to all states. And that is why I came to Shillong for a Northeastern Council meeting. An important meeting related to agriculture was held in Sikkim."
Without naming Manmohan Singh, Modi said, the former prime minister could not visit the state on the pretext of workload, "But I am such a PM who cannot stay without meeting you all".