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We need a strong NE, opines Modi
Sobhapati Samom

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh felicitating Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the closing ceremony of the Sangai Festival at the Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre in Imphal on Sunday. - UB Photos
 IMPHAL, Nov 30 – Amidst tight security in view of the 24- hour Statewide curfew called by the coordination committee of six major insurgent groups, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the closing function of the 10-day Manipur Sangai Festival, a tourism carnival named after Sangai, the brow antlered deer found only at Keibul Lamjao, the only floating national park in Bishnupur district, at Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre here on Sunday.

In his 20-minute speech in Hindi, Prime Minister Modi tries to show his willingness to take up various infrastructure development projects in the region, besides providing employment to the youths.

While responding to the opening remark by Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, who sought help from the Centre in improving health, culture and sports, including films, road connectivity, besides solving insurgency problems without disturbing the territorial boundary of the State, Prime Minister Modi mentioned about setting up of a sports university, development of tourism sector by promoting the game of polo, better connectivity of the region with others, enrolment of North East youths in Delhi Police.

Modi during his maiden visit to Manipur after becoming PM admitted that setting up of a sports university means a lot in terms of its involving economy. Stating that Manipur had enough potential for tourism, Modi said, “Let the nation and international community know about the birthplace of the game of polo.”

Voicing the need for skill development, he asked, “Why not set up call centres in Nagaland or Manipur, instead of Hyderabad or Bangalore (at low investment) as we’ve enough potential here.”

Highlighting his recent trip to Myanmar, he said he went there to study the region in order to have a link between Imphal and Mandalay (Myanmar).He further added,“We need a strong North East to connect with the South Asian countries.”

After witnessing the Rongmei traditional dance followed by the colourful Ras Leela performance at the closing function of the festival with the State Governor Dr KK Paul, Chief Minister Ibobi, Assembly Speaker Th Lokeshwor and who’s who of Manipur, Modi drove straight to the BJP State unit office at Keishampat for another address in Hindi, wherein he appealed to the party workers for a membership drive both in the valley and the hills.

The BJP State unit president Th Chaoba urged Modi to push improvement of the 222-km Imphal-Jiribam road. Earlier, the PM was received at the Imphal international airport. He subsequently left for Dimapur in the evening without mentioning anything about the controversial AFSPA in his Imphal public address.

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