Guwahati, Feb 9 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reiterated that India was fulfilling its duty of providing protection to religious persecuted minorities of three neighbouring countries through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and assured that the BJP-led NDA government will not allow any threat to the people of North East due to the Bill.
"The CAB is not related to the NE alone. It concerns the religious minorities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who had chosen to stay back there when India was partitioned based on religion, but later faced persecution there," he said.
"India is duty bound to give protection to them. I also want to assure the people of Assam and NE that their interests will never be harmed," he added, addressing a public rally of over one lakh people, after launching development projects worth Rs 18,000 crore for Assam at Changsari on the outskirts of Guwahati.
He claimed that the people who will be benefited by the Bill are not people who entered the country for economic benefits, but due to religious persecution.
Stating that he has a 'natural bonding' with the people of NE, Modi said, "The people of NE love me and I have my responsibility towards them. Hence, I am speaking of CAB in this public meeting."
Reiterating the government's commitment towards implementation of the Assam Accord, Modi said the constitution of an expert committee for implementing Clause six of the Accord, which deals with safeguarding cultural, political and economic rights of the people, was a step in right direction.
Taking a covert hit at Congress, he said, "The party which is spreading rumours now did not show any sincerity in implementing the Accord for 30-35 years. If anyone can fulfill the 36-year-old demands of the people of Assam, it is only the Modi government."
" The NDA government is committed to safeguarding the language, culture and resources of Assam," he added, citing the ongoing update of National Register of Citizens and sealing of international border as measures for it.
The prime minister said the two Assamese were conferred with the Bharat Ratna during BJP-led NDA government's regime.While the state's first premier Gopinath Bordoloi was honoured posthumously during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure, Dr Bhupen Hazarika, also posthumously, was named this year.
The prime minister further said the Centre was committed to developing Assam and NE and hence a slew of developmental projects were being launched for the region.
He pointed that the Interim Budget of the central government this year has witnessed 21 per cent increase in allocation to NE states.
Modi also took a dig at the opposition parties, terming them as 'mahamilawat', working to instigate the masses.
During the rally, Modi laid the foundation stone of North East Gas Grid, City Gas Distribution Networks for Kamrup, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts, NRL Bio Refinery at Numaligarh, and a 729 km gas pipeline from Barauni to Guwahati, passing through Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim.
He also inaugurated Hollong Modular Gas Processing Plant in Tinsukia and LPG Capacity Augmentation of Mounted Storage Vessel in North Guwahati at the same programme.
Assam Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, CM Sarbananda Sonowal, several MPs, state ministers and head of Autonomous councils of the state were present on the occasion.
The prime minister left for Agartala from Guwahati for the next leg of his NE trip, during which he had also visited Arunachal Pradesh earlier today. (UNI)