Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government would remove Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) only after installing peace in northeast India.
While addressing a public gathering at the inauguration of the newly built BJP office, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bhawan in Guwahati, Amit Shah said, "Rahul Gandhi gave Congress an agenda to remove AFSPA from the northeast if they came to power (in 2019), for the sake of appeasement. When it was asked of me, I said we will first bring peace in the northeast and then only will remove AFSPA, which would not happen just for appeasement."
The Ministry of Home Affairs recently extended the AFSPA, an act that empowers the armed forces to maintain public order in "disturbed areas," in some parts of the northeast for another six months.
In an order on October 1, the AFSPA was extended in certain regions of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. However, the act was extended in Assam for six months on February 28, 2022 and on December 1, 2021 in Manipur.
Addressing the public, Shah asserted that the party office for the BJP is a temple and not just a house of bricks and stone.
"For a BJP worker, the office is not a building, the office is a bundle of emotions. Here the work is outlined, this is where the plans for the development of the entire northeast India and Assam of the BJP are made," Shah said while highlighting the all-around development in the region.
Expressing his contentment over the development of Assam and the northeast, Amit Shah asserted that the party's consecutive rule in the region has ensured an "all-round development".
"During my Vidyarthi Parishad days, we had never imagined if we would make a government on our own in Assam, but today, the consecutive rule of BJP in the state has been ensuring all-round development," he said underscoring that instead of arriving in Assam as Home Minister this time, Shah said he has come as a BJP worker.
"I am very happy today that in the short span of 2014 to 2022, the entire North East and our Assam has started on the path of development today. It is a matter of good fortune for a worker like me that the development of both North East and BJP (here in North East) are going hand-in-hand," he added.
He further attacked Congress for making the peaceful land of Assam turn divisive.
"People were always worried that if Assam doesn't get inclusive growth, it would be a big problem for North East. The underlying reason was Congress, which always was keen to make the pious and peaceful land of Assam, a divisive one," Shah added while alleging that the Congress-led UPA government had made the "great land of Assam a land of disintegration, of terrorism, of strikes, of agitations".
He said that it is the resolution of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to bring Northeast to the mainstream for its development as is evident that the BJP leader (Shah and national president JP Nadda) visit each state of the seven sisters every fortnight, even if they come for one night.
(with inputs from ANI)