Reaching out to the indigenous people of election-bound Assam amid frequent anti-CAA protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday distributed land ownership certificates to over 1 lakh such families, insisting the move will guarantee them "pride, freedom and protection".
On his first physical visit outside the national capital this year, Modi reaffirmed the state and the central government's commitment to protecting the land rights and the unique cultural traditions of the indigenous people.
He castigated the previous governments for depriving them of their land rights for years since Independence.
"When the Sarbananda Sonowal government took over the reins in Assam, over 6 lakh indigenous families had no legal rights over their land. In the last few years over 2 lakh such families have been allotted ownership certificates. "With more than 1 lakh families added today, the government has shown its commitment to protecting the rights of the indigenous people," Modi said.
The previous governments in Assam never cared for the rights of those who "loved this sacred land", he alleged.
"The land ownership certificates (pattas) will guarantee their 'Swabhiman' (pride), Swadheenta (freedom) and Suraksha (protection)," the prime minister asserted. As Modi spoke at the function in Sivasagar, the historical capital of the Asom kings, anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests were staged at several places in Assam. The PM, however, steered clear of the controversies and made no mention of the issues in his speech.
He asserted the BJP-led government is committed protecting the land, language and culture of the indigenous people of Assam. The PM said the development of Assam and the North East was fundamental to his government's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' mission.
Modi said since the central government was led by former PM AB Vajpayee, the present NDA government has been according top priority to the development of Assam and other northeastern states.
Let’s have a duel: Amit Shah slams vaccine critics
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday lambasted those who have been criticising the efficacies of Covid-19 vaccines, saying that there should be no politics on public health.
At a function in Guwahati to extend the benefit of the central health insurance to the armed police forces by launching 'Ayushman CAPF', Shah urged the personnel to get inoculated when their turn comes. "There are people spreading misinformation on vaccine. Come to another platform and let's have a duel. But why are you creating doubt over people's health and doing politics? There are other issues for that," he said.
Shah said the vaccines developed by Indian scientists are safe and the men from all forces will be vaccinated after health workers are covered. "I appeal to all of you to go for the vaccine when your turn comes. Do not have any doubt about its efficacy."