NEW DELHI, Nov 8: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal push transformed Northeast and, so will Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh in the times to come.
In an exclusive interactive interview with ET channel, Dr Jitendra Singh said that North Eastern Region of India has, in the last over five years under the Modi Government, shown such a dramatic and revolutionary growth that it is going to be an essential component in the quest of 5 Trillion Dollar Economy of New India. He said, Northeast today has emerged as a model of development because of several out – of – box and new initiatives inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this would be the benchmark for replication in newly created Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as well as other peripheral or lesser developed States of India.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that when he came to the Northeast for the first time in 2014, he was taken aback by the phraseology like hinterland and mainland or an Indian Minister visiting North East, which he found quite baffling. However, he soon realized that it was a reflection of the extent of psychological distance that had happened over the years because, somehow the Northeast had suffered negligence due to different priorities of the earlier governments.
Let us not forget, said Dr Jitendra Singh, that in his first five years term as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi visited Northeast more than 30 times which may be more than the total number visits of all the past Prime Ministers put together. Not only that, in 2016, Modi attended preliminary meeting of North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong as Prime Minister after 40 years, the last one being Prime Minister Morarji Desai.
Also, at the psychological level, Northeast received a boost to a great extent when Amit Shah, soon after taking over as National BJP President, undertook an extensive tour of the region, spending two days in each of the eight States and was perhaps the first National President ever of any political party to have done so.
Soon after 2014, Dr Jitendra Singh said, we initiated the rotation of Ministerial Camp Secretariat of Ministry of North East (DoNER) , by turn, every month in each of the eight states and at the same time, a roster was prepared for Union Ministers to visit each of the eight North Eastern States regularly every month. The same push and impetus, could also bring an incredible change in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as well, he said.