Wading into a foreign policy issue for the first time, Narendra Modi on Saturday asked China to shed its “expansionist mindset”, making it clear that no power on earth can snatch Arunachal Pradesh from India.
“China should shed its expansionist policy and forge bilateral ties with India for peace, progress and prosperity of both the nations,” the BJP prime ministerial candidate said addressing a meeting in Pasighat in his current election campaign.
“Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and will always remain so. No power can snatch it from us. People of Arunachal Pradesh didn’t come under pressure or fear of China,” he said.
“I swear in the name of this soil that I will never allow the state to disappear...breakdown and to bow down,” Mr. Modi said to a thunderous applause from people gathered near the mighty Siang River.
He said China should shed its expansionist mindset because the world of today does not accept it. The entire world is moving towards development, he said.
“China needs to change its stand. China should shed its expansionist mindset and adopt the plank of development. Focus is on the development all over the world,” the Gujarat Chief Minister said.
Lauding the patriotic nature of the people, Mr. Modi said that because of the people, who were guarding the state as well as the country as sentinels, Arunachal remained an integral part of the country.
“The people here are real patriots as they salute their counterparts with ‘Jai Hind’ and are zealously protecting the state’s territory..... They gave a befitting reply to the advancing Chinese army during 1962 and the British and several army personnel from the state also fought with Pakistan during the Kargil war,” he said.
While directly referring to the January 29 murder of Arunachal Pradesh youth Nido Tania in Delhi, Mr. Modi cautioned the UPA government against underestimating the people of the state and added that it was the duty of the entire nation to protect the people and the state’s territorial integrity.
Elaborating on BJP’s mantra for development of the Northeast, Modi pitched for the ‘3H’ model of growth for Arunachal Pradesh. “H -- Herbal, Horticulture and Handicrafts.
These 3Hs can give lot of opportunities to the people here,” Mr. Modi said.
“Arunachal can be the world environment capital. It is no less than Switzerland,” he said.
Making a scathing attack on Congress governments both at the Centre as well as in the state for their failure in meeting the aspirations of the people, he said, “Neither dynasty nor casteism will benefit the country. Country will be benefited from development and 2014 elections will be fought on the development plank.”
He also said that Congress government at the Centre does not listen to its own government in Arunacahal Pradesh.
Referring to the killing of Tania, Mr. Modi said, “You need a government which is sensitive to the problems of every part of the country. The state does not have any opportunity in education or employment to offer the youth.”
“There were special provisions in the budget for the development of northeast and Sikkim during A.B. Vajpayeeji’s time,” he said, adding “lotus will again bloom in the region.”
Making an attempt to bond with the state, he said, “I come from Gujarat, a land that has very old and close relations with Arunachal Pradesh. The relation between Gujarat and Arunachal Pradesh brings the eastern and western part of our country together.”
He also said that the “first rays of the Sun bless this land. Arunachal Pradesh wakes up first and then the rest of India rises. The final rays of the sun set in Gujarat and tell us, we