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Spend night, N-E is not nightmare

| | New Delhi

Intensifying his Government’s ambitious ‘Look Northeast’ Policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now made one-night stays mandatory for Union Ministers, who visit the North-Eastern States — a move aimed at sending out a message that the insurgency-hit region is safe for all.

Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma, who visited Guwahati in the first week of April to be part of the Namami Brahmaputra Festival, said he will visit to Manipur on Saturday to attend the Shirui Festival, beginning on May 16.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju too was present during the Namami Brahmaputra Festival, which is the biggest river festival in Guwahati.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh also visited the region in the second week of this month to participate in a tourism event.

The directive comes two years after the PMO planned fortnightly visits of Union Ministers to the region.

Sharma said linking tourism and development in the Northeast and making it a tourist destination for people from all over the world is the “Prime Minister’s dream”.

“To ensure that, he has asked all the Union Ministers to not only take trips to the Northeast States, but also to stay the night there,” he said.

Sources in the Tourism Ministry say the Government is keen to change the popular perception about the Northeast as a “security nightmare” plagued with insurgency. “And what better way to showcase its safety than to have senior Union Ministers stay there overnight,” a source said.

The BJP’s MODI (Making of Developed India) Festival, scheduled to begin on May 26 to mark the third anniversary of its Government, is likely to be kickstarted from the Northeast by the Prime Minister.



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