Guwahati, Feb 9 : Even as the protests continued in Assam against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that India is duty bound to give protection to persecuted minorities in the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"India is duty bound to give protection to them. I also want to assure the people of Assam and NE that their interest won't be harmed," Mr Modi said at a rally in the outskirts of Guwahati.
Prime Minister Modi to Day also laid the foundation for projects worth Rs 18,000 crore in Assam, amidst protests, including a nude demonstration, against his visit and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Launching numerous developmental projects at a public rally at Changsari on the outskirts of Guwahati, Modi said the huge investment for infrastructure was manifestation of the Central government’s commitment towards development of Assam and entire North East.
Utilizing the occasion to address the protests against the CAB, the prime minister alleged that a misinformation campaign was being orchestrated to mislead the masses, maintaining that interests of Assam and NE will always be safeguarded.
“The CAB is not related to the NE alone. It concerns the religious minorities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who had chose to stay back there when India was partitioned based on religion, but later faced persecution there,” Mr Modi said.
He claimed that the people who will be benefited by the Bill are not the 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 the CAB in this public meeting."
Reiterating the government's commitment to implement 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 the right direction.
Making a covert hit at the 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 safeguard the language, culture and resources of Assam," he added, citing ongoing update of National Register of Citizens and sealing of international border as measures for it.
The prime minister pointed that the two Bharat Ratna awards that have so far been conferred on two Assamese persons came 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. (UNI)