Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (February 7) said the signing of the Bodo peace accord marked the victory of all communities and that his government will not let violence to return in the northeastern state. It’s because of people’s support that a new dawn of permanent peace has arrived in Assam, the prime minister said.
He was addressing a rally at Assam’s Kokrajhar, celebrating the signing of the accord, during his first visit to the state since the outbreak of protests over the new citizenship law. Speaking at the rally, he said the agreements signed in 1993 and 2003 could not bring permanent peace in Bodoland and that now there is no demand left with signing of this Bodo Accord.
“No body addressed issues of the northeast and allowed disturbances to continue. This approach distances people of the region and they lost faith in Constitution. Northeast was under AFSPA for a long time but now Tripura and many parts of other states are free from it,” the prime minister said.
He also said it is time to implement Clause 6 of Assam Accord and that the Centre will work expeditiously once the report in submitted. “All communities have won with signing of Bodo peace accord,” he added. We have to work together for peace and development of the northeast, will not allow violence to return, he said.
“Today is the day to acknowledge the support of all the young people belonging to All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary and Assam government, who played a very positive role for this agreement,” he said.
He said after five decades, with full harmony, the expectations and aspirations of every partner associated with the Bodo Land Movement have been respected. “Thousands of people in the northeast became refugees in their own country due to violence. They are now being given new facilities to settle here with full respect and dignity,” he said.
Modi also appealed to extremists in the Northeast, militants in Jammu and Kashmir and the Maoists to “take inspiration from Bodo insurgents and return to the mainstream”. He said the combined central allocation to the eight states of the region went up to a staggering ₹3 lakh crore under the 14th Finance Commission, after his government was formed, from ₹90,000 crore under the 13th Finance Commission.
Seeking to clarify his government’s new citizenship law, the prime minister said, “Some powers are spreading rumours in Northeast that people from outside will come and settle here (in Assam) due to Citizenship Amendment Act. I want to assure that no such thing will happen.” He also sought to assure the people that “anti-national and anti-Assam” mentaility will not be tolerated in the country.
The prime minister also took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his ‘beat with sticks’ remark. “Sometimes, people talk about beating with sticks. But someone with a protective shield of mothers and sisters of the country cannot be harmed,” said Modi.
(With inputs from agencies)