With polls in mind, PM Modi talks about eastern India

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 15, 2015 13:00 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 69th Independence Day celebration in New Delhi. (Ajay Aggarwal/ HT Photo)

Delivering his second Independence Day speech from the historic Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday did not lose his sight on eastern India while talking about the overarching development goal.

"The country cannot move forward without the prosperity of eastern part of Hindustan," Modi said reiterating his vision for the development of the region. The PM maintained that the development of the eastern and northeastern states holds a key to the government's "look-east" policy.

Observers see this pitch from the PM in the backdrop of the ensuing elections in that part of India.

In October this year, Bihar will go for its crucial assembly elections where the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA is pitted against the Janata Dal(United)-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress combination.

Next year, two more states — West Bengal and Assam will go to the polls.

In his speech Modi, mentioned many of these states individually. "India will become powerful only when eastern UP, Bihar, Odisha and Assam become powerful," he said.

To demonstrate how his government has "focused on eastern India", Modi spoke about the recently sanctioned gas pipeline from Bengal to Bihar that will provide cheaper cooking gas in many cities on this Gangetic belt.

As the government is banking on regional parties to pass key bills like the goods and service tax and real estate, Modi's speech is also being seen as an attempt to woo the regional parties in these poll-bound states.

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