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Union Home Minister visits Arunachal; cheers locals, sends China shivers



Braving all odds, Amit Shah paid a visit to Arunachal Pradesh on Monday, a first by an incumbent Union Home Minister. While the visit is a morale booster for the armed forces guarding and fending off untoward forces; it also demonstrates Shah’s leadership quality that upholds the philosophy of leading from the front.

While the timing of the visit could not have been a better one, Shah also spent a night among the jawans at Kibithoo, a hilly terrain in the North-Eastern state just 15 km away from the sensitive Line of Actual Control (LAC), much to the amusement of the ITBP jawans.

The Home Minister did not go to Kibithoo, the first village in India, with empty hands. Fully aware of the fact that the area was devoid of development in all aspects, he offered them a Rs 4,800 crore bonanza under the Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP).

The government is carrying out the ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ with central components of Rs 4,800 crore including Rs 2,500 crore exclusively for road connectivity for four years from last fiscal. Under VVP, 2,967 villages in 46 blocks of 19 districts abutting the northern border in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand & Himachal Pradesh and UT of Ladakh have been identified for comprehensive development. In the first phase, 662 villages have been identified for priority coverage, which includes 455 villages in Arunachal Pradesh.

With the VVP, the government is trying to kill two birds with one stone. First, with the development of infrastructure, youth from the area would refrain from migrating to other places for work and secondly, infrastructure development would help India’s jawan to retaliate against Chinese aggression with ease. Both are strategic and required full-fledged support from the Centre.

In an interaction with the ITBP jawans, Shah assured them of equipping with the latest ammunition and providing them with the fourth generation connectivity that would make it easier for them to connect with their families.

At the Kibithoo event, Shah sent out a strong message to China, saying India would not allow even an inch of its territory to be encroached upon. Gone are the days when anyone could do so. Like a true leader, he gave the entire credit to the ITBP jawans and the Army who through their acts of bravery have shown that “no one can challenge the borders of our country.”

However, like a true statesman, he said, “Now, not even land equal to ‘sui ki nok’ can be encroached on. Our policy is clear. We want to live in peace with all but will not allow even an inch of our land to be encroached upon.” He also praised ITBP jawans profusely for their efforts to ensure that “the nation sleeps worry-free.” The message was loud and clear for the neighbouring country.

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