Union home minister Amit Shah addresses a public rally ahead of Meghalaya assembly elections, at Tura, in West Garo Hills on February 16 | ANI Photo

Union home minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah on February 16 exuded confidence that BJP will emerge as the single largest party in the Meghalaya assembly elections scheduled to be held on February 27.

Addressing an election meeting at Tura, headquarters of West Garo Hills district on February 16 evening, Shah appealed to the electorate to strengthen his party and the ‘hands’ of prime minister Narendra Modi during the coming assembly elections for ensuring a corruption-free and developed state.

Describing Meghalaya as one of the “most corrupt” in the country, the BJP leader said: “There has been only corruption in the last 50 years of statehood in Meghalaya and it is sad that the prime minister’s development schemes did not reach the state. All central schemes get vanished by the time they reach Meghalaya”.

“We are determined to make Meghalaya a corruption-free state through a double-engineered government of BJP in Meghalaya and Centre,” even as he said that the BJP had come out of the coalition government in the state ahead of the elections in order to challenge corruption.

“We need a strong BJP here, so we broke the alliance before the polls and decided to contest for all 60 assembly seats. Meghalaya is one of the most corrupt states in the country due to the inefficiency of the state government,” he said.

Shah said due to the negligence of the state government of Meghalaya and their mismanagement, the deficit of the state has increased to about Rs 1849 crore in 2022-23.

“This has happened only because of corruption. The scale of corruption here is not visible anywhere else in the country. Meghalaya Energy Corporation is on the verge of closure,” he said, even as he quoted an RBI report that states: Meghalaya is the slowest developing state in the country.

Pointing out that there was no medical college in Meghalaya even after 50 years of statehood, Shah promised to set up medical colleges in the Garo Hills and in Shillong, if the BJP was voted to power, adding that nursing schools would also be set up.

Speaking in Hindi, Amit Shah apologized to the tribal people for not being able to speak in Garo, even as he promised that students would be able to study in their own language from primary to secondary level, as per the National Education Policy, which promotes local languages.

He said the BJP wants to make Meghalaya the “number one state in the northeast” and set up IT parks and economic zones in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills region, besides promoting organic farming.

“In eight years, the Modi government spent Rs 5000 crore for national highways and rural roads in Meghalaya. There is five times more fibre connectivity in the state since 2014 and 39 Eklavya model residential schools have been set up for poor students,” Amit Shah said, adding that Modi was the only PM after independence who visited the Northeast for 51 times so far.

“We will make a provision of Rs 100 crore for MSMEs when our government is formed in Meghalaya. For the development of North-East, Prime Minister has started the PM-DevINE scheme. For this, a primary allocation of Rs 6,000 crore has been made in the budget,” Shah said.

Stating that insurgency has come down drastically in the region, Union home minister Amit Shah appealed to groups in Meghalaya to come forward for talks with the Centre and “get connected with the Modi government’s development work.

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