NEW DELHI, Feb 21 � Lauding the initiatives to resolve the problem of insurgency in the North-east, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has said that intensive engagement with various groups in the North-east has largely reduced violence in those states.
The President�s address however, left the Opposition MPs of the North-east dismayed over what they claimed was a lacklustre speech.
Addressing the joint session of the Parliament that marked the beginning of the Budget Session, the President briefly mentioned about the insurgency situation in the North-east. The President, however, spoke about the Central Government�s initiative to upgrade infrastructure facilities in Arunachal Pradesh.
�The Arunachal Pradesh package for road and highways, involving development of about 2300 km length of roads, including the trans-Arunachal Highway, is expected to be completed by June, 2015,� the President mentioned.
It also proposed to give incentives to future FM radio operations in Jammu and Kashmir, the north-eastern States and island territories, she said.
Reacting to the President�s address, Bijoya Chakravarty said that it was a speech without a vision. The speech did not reflect the concerns of the North-east. There was no mention of the rampant corruption in the region, she added.
Stating that the President�s speech did not portray the correct picture of the Region, Kumar Deepak Das claimed that the contention that insurgency in the North-east was on the wane, is not correct. Besides, the burning problems of the North-east found no mention in the speech. The President has not said anything about the steps taken to curb corruption, Das remarked.
Rajya Sabha MP Bhubaneswar Kalita though hailed the speech stating that it would give direction to the government. The speech gives a positive signal to the government to resolve the insurgency problem across the table. �I hope talks with ULFA and other insurgent groups would lead the way,� he said.
Reacting to the address, Paban Singh Ghatowar said that the President�s address gave an overall picture of the initiatives taken by the government. The initiatives taken by the government to resolve the insurgency problem would bring peace in Assam and other north-eastern States, he added.
Reacting to the President�s address, S K Bwiwsmutiary said the speech only mentioned about road projects in Arunachal Pradesh but no mention about infrastructure projects in rest of the North-east. The President�s address was also silent about government�s policy to bring lasting peace in the region. �I am not with the government�s initiatives and would like to ask it to look at all issues afresh,� he said.