25 October, 2020

A Tryst With Hope

On a tour of the seven states, Gowda promises the moon

A Tryst With Hope

AS prime ministerial visits go, H.D. Deve Gowda’s sojourn to the North-east last week was unprecedented for more than one reason. First, no Prime Minister in recent times has turned his attention to the region’s chronic problems so soon after assuming office. And second, no one, not even the itinerant Rajiv Gandhi, attempted to tour all the seven states of the North-east in one go. But Gowda, determined to acquaint himself with the region, travelled to all the seven states on a whistle-stop tour of six days starting October 22.

By his own admission, Gowda’s primary task was to "educate" himself about the North-east. With this modest aim and an open mind, he went round the states. The result: Gowda announced an economic package for the entire region and a decision to set up a separate monitoring cell for the North-east under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on the lines of the Jammu and Kashmir committee.

More importantly, however, the Prime Minister gave an open offer to various militant groups to come for negotiations...



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