- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates road in Meghalaya
- PM Modi inaugurates 60-megawatt power project in Mizoram
- Assembly elections will be held in Mizoram and Meghalaya next year
Here's your 10-point cheat sheet to this story:
PM Modi, who inaugurated the Shillong-Nongstoin-Rongjeng-Tura road in Meghalaya, addressed a gathering in state capital Shillong 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 wave for change, which began with the Assam elections, is now reaching Meghalaya. This state can do wonders. 15 years of Congress rule has ruined Meghalaya," PM Modi said.
"We want to make Meghalaya a top tourist destination. Government of India has sanctioned around Rs 100 crore for development of tourist destinations in the state... The BJP's agenda is development, speedy development, and all-round development," PM Modi said.
In Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, PM Modi distributed 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.
While inaugurating a hydropower project in Mizoram earlier today, PM Modi said the centre is committed to putting all the state capitals of the north-east on the rail map, and is executing 15 new projects in the region with an investment of over Rs 47,000 crore. "It is said that the lack of connectivity is one of the biggest hurdles in the path of development of the north-eastern region," PM Modi said.
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.