Will protect your culture as a chowkidar: Modi in N-E

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated by his party leaders during an election rally ahead of Lok Sabha elections, at Gohpur, in Biswanath district, on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday promised to stand as a chowkidar (watchman) to protect the unique culture and tradition of the Northeastwhile slamming that Congress neglected the region’s development in 70-years.

Modi’s promise to protect the culture is seen as a counter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s repeated charges that BJP posed threat to the unique tradition of the region.

I will stand as a chowkidar to protect the unique culture and tradition your elders and forefathers made and preservedProtecting your culture and allow you to continue with such tradition is a promise of Modi. Do you want a chowkidar, who will protect your culture, your tradition?” Modi said while summing up his rally at Aalo in Arunachal Pradesh under Arunachal Pradesh (West) Lok Sabha constituency. Union minister of state for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju is BJP’s candidate in the constituency.

Addressing similar rallies in Manipur and Tripura on March 20, Rahul Gandhi alleged that BJP was trying to destroy the unique culture and language of the indigenous people of the Northeasby bringing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The bill sought toallow “persecuted” non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to apply for citizenship, which was strongly opposed by organisations representing the region’s indigenous communities.

Modi alleged in the past 70-years Congress neglected the need for the development of infrastructure of Arunachal Pradesh and it was his government, which connected the frontier state with rail and air network. Congress is only interested in malai(commission) but we stand for bhalai (welfare).”

Taking a dig at Congress’s questions regarding the Balakot attack, Modi said the Opposition party is appreciated more in Pakistan than in India. “When the country achieves something to be proud of, they start crying. When our forces entered in the territory of those harbouring terrorists and attacked them, Congress raised questions on them,” he said.

Addressing his second rally in Moran under Dibrugarh constituency in Assam, the Prime Minister assured that his government was trying to implement the Assam Accord of 1985, including according to constitutional safeguards to indigenous Assamese people. “We are also trying to give ST status to six more communities without affecting the interest of the existing communities. What we have done in the past five years, Congress did not do in 70 years,” he said.

In his third rally at Gohpur under Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency, Modi said as chowkidar, his focus was against the infiltrators, terrorists and against corruption. Assam minister Pallab Lochan Das is BJP candidate in Tezpur. Das is likely to face a straight fight from Congress’ MGVK Bhanu, who hails from Andhra Pradesh.

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