Guwahati, Jan 24 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that to fulfil the Prime Minister’s dream for a new India and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the violent phase of terrorism had ended and a peace and development era has begun in the entire Northeastern region and Jammu and Kasmir.
Addressing a gathering in western Assam’s Kokrajhar, bordering West Bengal, Shah said that with the repeal of Article 370, violence has been tamed in Jammu and Kashmir while with the historic Bodo Peace Accord the violent phase has ended in the Bodo Territorial Region (BTR) comprising four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri.
“With absolutely no violence and a huge number of people exercised their franchise both in the District Development Council polls in Jammu and Kashmir (in November) and in the Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls (in early December),” he said.
Shah said that the BTC polls’ success is a semi-final and the BJP would win comfortably in the final match –- Assam Assembly elections, likely to be held in April-May.
The Kokrajhar public rally was organised on Sunday to celebrate the first anniversary of the signing of the Bodo peace accord with the Central government on January 27, 2020 in New Delhi in the presence of Shah.
In all, 1,615 cadres of four National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) factions had laid down their arms on January 30 last year after the signing of the accord.
The Home Minister said that over 5,000 people had been killed during the many years of terrorism and now the absolute peace has been prevailed in the BTR and adjoining areas after the signing of the historic Bodo Peace Accord and over 80 per cent people cast their votes in the last month’s BTC polls.
Promising to fulfil all the provisions of the Bodo accord, the Union Minister said that peace has been established and rapid development was now underway not only in Assam but also in the entire Northeast region.
“Over 700 militants of different outfits have laid down their arms and ammunition and joined the mainstream of life.
“Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister, who has visited the Northeastern states 40 times so far. All this shows how the Modi government is giving priority to the region,” said Shah.
He said that Rs 5,000 crore package as part of the Bodo accord was being implemented in the BTR and the adjoining areas while welfare and development schemes were being initiated for both the Bodo and the non-Bodo people.
The ruling BJP and its new allies United Peoples’ Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) took over the governance after the last month’s polls to the 40-member BTC.
Shah said that as the UPPL has become the constituent of the NDA (National Democratic Alliance), the BJP victory in the next Assam Assembly polls would be easier.
The former national BJP chief said that during the Congress-rule violent activities had taken place in BTR and other parts of Assam and no development was done, but the BJP governments both at the Center and the state undertook unprecedented development and welfare schemes and projects in Assam.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, state Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also the convener of the BJP-led anti-Congress alliance of regional parties — North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), UPPL President and BTC’s Chief Executive Member Promod Boro among others spoke in the gathering.
Sonowal last week (January 19) at a function in Guwahati handed over Rs 4 lakh each to 1,279 surrendered cadres of the NDFB.
Meanwhile, the ruling BJP fought against the Bodo Peoples’ Front (BPF) in the December’s BTC polls despite ruling Assam together since 2016 along with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
The Hagrama Mohilary-led BPF, which has ruled the BTC ever since 2005 after the tribal autonomous body was constituted in 2003 as a political solution to Bodo agitation for a separate state, won 17 seats this time while the BJP secured nine seats as against one in 2015, the UPPL bagged 12 seats.
The opposition Congress and Gana Suraksha Parishad managed to get one seat each.