He said he set the ball rolling by going to Shillong for a meeting of the North-Eastern Council. "I can tell you with great pride that ministers and officials from the Centre are visiting the Northeast very regularly," he added.
PM Modi made the point in Itanagar, the capital of BJP-ruled Arunachal Pradesh, where he was attending a series of functions. The state was his first stop before the Tripura, where he is expected to address two election rallies this afternoon. The BJP, which already rules three states in the northeast, is hoping to bag three more in the coming round of assembly elections, when polling will be held in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
In 2016, after the BJP had swept the assembly polls in Assam, which marked the beginning of its victory march in the northeast, PM Modi had outlined his Act East policy. Describing the eight northeastern states as Astha Lakshmi (the eight forms of Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth), he said he wanted the northeast to be the "Gateway to Southeast Asia".
After the election, the government had also formed the North-Eastern Council for the economic and social development of all eight states.
PM Modi, who inaugurated Arunachal's new Civil Secretariat complex and Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre and an academic block at the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science, also announced a gift for the state: a twice a week train to Delhi from Naharlagun near Itanagar.
Complimenting Chief Minister Pema Khandu on the work he has done for the state, PM Modi said he has prepared a "top quality roadmap" on what the state will look like in 2027.
He also congratulated the young people in the state, saying they are eager to learn Hindi and the state is ahead of all others in the northeast in picking up the national language.