Buoyed by a raft of peace agreements with underground outfits in the Northeast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a fervent appeal to militants in Assam who have not surrendered yet to return to the mainstream as they are needed to create an ‘Atmanirbhar Assam’.

Addressing an election rally here in Bodoland Territorial Region’s (BTR) Baksa district, the prime minister said people of the state have rejected violence for development, peace, unity and stability.

Accusing the Congress of encouraging violence, Modi said, “It is our responsibility to ensure the rehabilitation of those who have returned to the mainstream after years of struggle.

“I also appeal to those who are yet to surrender to return for the future of the state and for their own future, too, as they are needed to create an ‘Atmanirbhar Assam’,” he said.

Referring to the huge crowd of women present at the rally, the Prime Minister said during his last visit to Kokrajhar in BTR on Thursday, he was surprised to see women in large numbers and asked a political analyst about the reason, and was told “mothers are now sure their children will not pick up weapons and go away to the jungle again”.

“I assure every mother and sister of the BTR that the dreams of your children will be fulfilled and they do not have to pick up weapons and go to the jungles or fall victim to bullets,” he said.

Every child is special to their mother but their tears do not stop once the child picks up a gun and goes to the jungle, he said, adding the NDA is committed to ensuring that this does not happen again.

The NDA is committed to moving ahead on the path of development through “peace and goodwill” and it is this that has led to the signing of the historic Bodo Accord, he said.

The NDA government, he asserted, formulates policies that are non-discriminatory and for all sections of society. “It’s unfortunate that those who divided society and threw crumbs of development at particular sections for their vote bank politics are said to be practising secularism while we, who ensure that development reaches all, are termed communal,” Modi said, attacking the Congress over long years of violence in the state.

“The NDA government has strived to holistically empower every section of society with our mantra ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’. This game of secularism and communalism has hurt the nation a lot,” he said.

During the last five years, the “double engine” NDA governments at the Centre and in the state have resulted in “double benefit” for Assam, the prime minister said.

“Whenever we think of any scheme, we think of everyone without any discrimination. We want that the benefits of the schemes reach every section of the society, irrespective of whether they are form a vote bank or not, literate or illiterate. We are here to work for the nation and to change the lives of people,” he said.

The Prime Minister said it is for the first time that special attention has been given to holistic development of 100 districts and out of these, seven are in Assam.

The people of Assam have realised this and the “Mahajhot ka Mahajhooth (the Grand lies of the Grand Alliance has been exposed with people reposing faith in development, stability, peace, goodwill, harmony and unity”, he said.

Modi came down heavily on those claimimg what people who will form the next government will look like and wear. He was apparently referring to the comments by Abdur Rahim, the son of AIUDF founder and MP Badruddin Ajmal, a Congress ally, who Friday asserted “dadhi, topi and lungi wallahs” will form the next government in the state.

“There cannot be a bigger insult to Assam. The people of Assam will not tolerate those who insult Assam’s pride and identity and will give them a befitting reply through the ballot,” he said.

The people of the state have decided to vote the NDA to power again, he asserted.

“I say this on the strength of my political experience, the love, affection and enthusiam they have shown for the NDA in the two phases of polling already held. They are with development, stability, peace, harmony and unity,” he added.

The NDA government has been moving forward on the path of peace and prosperity with every partner of Assam, stated Modi urging the youth (particularly first time voters) to vote in large numbers. He pointed out that their mandates would determine how far ahead Assam would be when India celebrates 100 years of independence.

~With inputs from PTI~