Guwahati, March 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing his first election rally in Bhatgram here on Thursday said that the northeast region would be the key development hub of India and the NDA government has already re-established air, rail, road and water connectivity between the region and other part of the country.
Lambsting the Congress, he said: "The Congress has become so weak that that now it can do anything to win elections. The party giving 'Laal-Salaam' (red salute) to the Left parties, wrestling with the Left parties in Kerala and allied with such a party in Assam which harmful for state's unity and integrity. Congress's confusing approach could not deliver goods."
He said that three decades ago people of Assam had first elected nine MLAs out of 15 assembly seats from Barak Valley. The Barak Valley comprising three southern Assam districts -- Cachar, Karimganj, Hailakandi - is mostly dominated by Bengali speaking Hindu and Muslims.
"The Barak Valley had huge resources of tea and petroleum wealth and had connections with other parts of India and neighbouring countries but the Congress destroyed all these resources," he added.
Saying that, Rs 1,000 crore special package was allocated in this year's Central Budget for the tea garden workers, the Prime Minister said that under the PM-KISAN scheme 27 lakh farmers' families in Assam are getting financial assistance.
"Double engine governments at the Center and in the state would empower people of Assam to a large extent and make Assam an Atmanirbhar state. It was a matter of regret that the Barak Valley was governed from Guwahati and it had limited use of resources and limited railway and other connectivity. Now the number of trains running in the valley and adjoining areas increased to double," Modi added.
Modi in his 27 minute speech wished people in Bengali and referred to several prominent personalities too.
"During its regime, the Congress party divided Assam in all possible ways while the BJP government has been connecting the people at all fronts. We are not connecting the state just physically, but also connecting it culturally and heartily," the PM said.
Assam Minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma and other party leaders also addressed the public meeting. The BJP sources said that the Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Assam several times to campaign for the party in between March 21 and April 3.
15 assembly seats in Barak Valley will go to polls in the SECOND phase of elections on April 1. In the first phase on March 27, election will be held for 47 constituencies, while in the second phase on April 1, polling will take place for 39 seats. In the last and third phase on April 6, elections will be held for the remaining 40 constituencies.
The results will be declared on May 2.