Kibithoo: In an obvious message to China, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has said today's India is not what it was in 1962 but a country that belongs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
In the presence of Shah, Khandu also said it was perhaps for the first time that a Union home minister came to a place located so close to the border with China.
Shah was here on Monday to launch the Modi government's ambitious "Vibrant Villages Programme" (VVP) to ensure all-round development of the villages located along the northern border.
China had, on Monday, objected to Shah's visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
"It is not an India of 1962. Today, it is Narendra Modi's India, it is Amit Shah's India," Khandu said amid applause from the audience that mostly consisted of those living close to the Sino-Indian border.
India had faced Chinese aggression in 1962 and Kibithoo and neighbouring Walong had witnessed a fierce battle between the Indian Army and the China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Khandu's remarks also bear significance as they came days after Beijing announced Chinese names for 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh, which the neighbouring country claims as the southern part of Tibet.
The chief minister said the Modi government has been wholeheartedly supporting the all-round development of the northeast, especially Arunachal Pradesh.
As part of the "Vibrant Villages Programme", the BJP-led Centre will provide Rs 4,800 crore for the development of villages all along the northern border -- from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
Shah had said the objective of the programme is to stop the exodus of people, develop the villages as tourists attractions, generate jobs and usher in an era of all-round development.
The VVP is a centrally-sponsored scheme under which 2,967 villages in 46 blocks of 19 districts abutting the northern border in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Ladakh have been identified for comprehensive development.
In the first phase, 662 villages have been identified for priority on coverage, including 455 villages in Arunachal Pradesh.
The VVP will help improve the quality of life of residents in identified villages and encourage people to stay put at their native places, thereby reversing out-migration from these villages and adding to the security of the border, officials said.
The district administration, with the help of appropriate mechanisms at the block and panchayat levels, will prepare action plans for the identified villages to ensure a 100-per cent saturation of the central and state schemes.
The focus areas of interventions identified for the development of villages include road connectivity, drinking water, electricity, including solar and wind energy, mobile and internet connectivity, tourist centres, multi-purpose centres and healthcare infrastructure and wellness centres.
At the function, Shah also launched nine micro hydel projects of the Arunachal Pradesh government that are being constructed under the "Golden Jubilee Border Illumination Programme" for the benefits of those living along the border areas.
Besides the locals, the electricity generated in these mini hydel projects will also be given to Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) installations.