GUWAHATI, Nov 21 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid special emphasis on the development of the North East region, asserted Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who has been appointed as the president of the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today.
Talking to The Assam Tribune this evening, Sonowal said that the Prime Minister has declared the North East as a special zone for development to bring the area on a par with the developed States of the country. He said that the Central government has also laid special emphasis on infrastructure development, particularly communication, in the region. He pointed out that the progress of gauge conversion works in the Barak Valley had remained very slow for years and immediately after the NDA government assumed office, the implementation of the project was expedited and today, the first passenger train from the valley was flagged off.
The Prime Minister has also directed all the ministers to visit the North East so that the Central government departments can take up schemes for the development of the region, Sonowal said.
Replying to a question on whether he would have to resign from the Union Ministry after his appointment as the president of the State unit of the BJP, Sonowal said that no decision has yet been taken and the Central leadership would take the decision in this regard.
Thanking the central leaders of the BJP for appointing him as the president of the State unit, Sonowal said that he would take all decisions by consulting all sections of party workers. He said that his immediate goal would be to hold talks with all sections of people of the State, including the organisations representing different ethnic groups, to know their problems so that effective steps can be taken to solve those.
Sonowal said that providing a bright future to the youths of the State would be another major goal for the BJP in the coming days and the Centre would take effective steps in this regard. He also refuted the allegation of the State government that the Centre has stopped providing funds for a number of schemes.
A former president of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU), Sonowal was the president of the State unit of the BJP from December 2012 to May last year and under his leadership, the party managed to win seven of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.