In Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will distribute cheques to young entrepreneurs under the North East Venture Fund
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is launching a couple of infrastructure projects in Mizoram and Meghalaya in the north-east today. Assembly elections in these two Congress-ruled states will be held next year, and the BJP is looking to replicate its electoral victories in Assam and Manipur — another two states in the north-east that slipped from the Congress’s hand since April 2016. In Mizoram, PM Modi will inaugurate the Tuirial hydroelectric power project that has a generating capacity of 60 megawatts. In Meghalaya, the Prime Minister will inaugurate a road connecting state capital Shillong with Nongstoin, Rongjeng and Tura.
- PM Modi, after inaugurating the Shillong-Nongstoin-Rongjeng-Tura road in Meghalaya, will address a gathering in what is being seen as the launch of the BJP’s election campaign in the Congress-ruled state where assembly elections will be held next year.
- The Prime Minister is also set to launch an app via which people in the north-east can connect with the government to monitor projects and ensure quicker release of funds. The developers’ summary of the Android app ‘MyDoNER’, available on Google Play, claims “…The release of fund in many projects in current fiscal year, has taken as minimum as 7 to 10 working days as compared to time taken in earlier approval process.”
- In Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, PM Modi will distribute cheques to young entrepreneurs under the North East Venture Fund, the first dedicated venture capital fund for the north-east, according to the government.
- In September, Minister for Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh had said hundreds of proposals have been coming in every day with the DoNER Ministry, and the ministry is considering 60 proposals.
- The 60 megawatt Tuirial hydroelectric power project in Mizoram has been constructed as a central sector project and implemented by the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation or NEEPCO. It can power approximately 84,000 homes a year.
- PM Modi’s ‘development blitz’ ahead of the assembly elections in Meghalaya and Mizoram next year will not go unnoticed by the Congress, especially after it lost Manipur in March this year despite winning the most number of seats but short of majority in the 60-member assembly. The BJP, which won 21 seats, formed a coalition government in the eleventh hour with state parties.
- Meghalaya BJP chief Shibun Lyngdoh told news agency IANS that PM Modi’s campaign in the state will definitely boost the party’s prospects. The Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance government has been in power for two consecutive terms.
- In Assam, the BJP with its allies won a whopping 86 of the 126 assembly seats in May last year. Party leaders were then unanimous that the victory was powered by good partnerships and the decision to project strong local leaders, like Sarbananda Sonowal — who was made Chief Minister — and Himanta Biswa Sarma, who switched sides from the Congress.
- In May, PM Modi had said the government aims to make the north-east a gateway to Southeast Asia and was making huge investments in the region. “If such a beautiful gateway is unclean, diseased, illiterate or disbalanced, then it will fail to cross the gateway of the country’s development. There is no reason why, with all our resources, we should remain backward or poor,” PM Modi had said.
- There are eight states in the north-east — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. After taking Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP is looking to score victories in Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, where assembly elections will be held next year, and make its score an eight out of eight.