Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi visted Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday to attend the five-day long Tawang Festival, and used the occasion to call on people of all walks of life to participate in governance and ensure the nation's future progress.
Tawang this morning wore a deserted look with the markets closed and scanty traffic on its narrow and winding roads.
In fact, the whole of Tawang had zeroed in onthe Tawang Festival ground to have a glimpse of Rahul Gandhi.
Gandhi attended the event on its penultimate day, air-dashing from Delhi via Tezpur on an IAF chopper.
Incidentally this was is his first visit to the oft-visited picturesque Tawang and a short one at that. His visit lasted for about two hours.
"Tashi Delek," Rahul greeted Tawang to a thunderous applause.
Speaking in chaste Hindi, Gandhi said every single person of the country must be involved in governance to move ahead as a progressive country.
"If we don't involve people of all walks of life, especially the backward class in the governance, our nation will not move ahead," he said while informing about the national flagship programmes like MNREGA and SSA.
He added that such national flagship programmes give opportunities to everyone of the country for better employment and livelihood.
Asserting that special attention is being by the Government of India to Arunachal Pradesh, Gandhi said the mega PM's package provided to the state is exceptional and no other state in India had received such a huge package in terms of funds.
"This clearly proves the keen interest of the Centre to see Arunachal at par with other developed states," the young Gandhi pointed.
He expressed optimism that with implementation of the mega package Arunachal will see a new light of development with proper air, railway and road connectivity.
Marveling at the dance performances by various tribes and sub-tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, Gandhi commented that 'we are different flowers of the same bouquet -different in culture yet same in spirit'.
Welcoming Rahul, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki in his speech recalled the Nehru-Gandhi contributions in shaping Arunachal Pradesh and the special bond shared by the people with the family.
"Though it is your first visit to Tawang but your great grandfather Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, grandmother Indira, your father Rajiv and our leader madam Sonia has visited Tawang and showered their blessings to our people," he said.
He informed Rahul that the developmental package bestowed by the Center is being properly implemented in construction of a four lane road to connect the State Capital, Trans Arunachal Highway, Railway line to Itanagar, Green field Airport, etc.
Tuki sought Rahul's intervention in getting sanction for construction of road from Lumla to Rangia via Tashigong (Bhutan) while stating that it will pave way for opening up of border trade with Bhutan and also shorten the distance from Tawang to Rangia by around 260 kms. He also sought Rahul's cooperation in getting sanction for construction of a short take-off and landing (STOL) Airport at Lumla and reconstruction of Stillwell road in Changlang to boost border trade with Myanmar and other South East Asian countries.
"NHPC is doing survey and investigation for construction of a Tunnel road from Senge to Jang which will not only cut short a distance of about 60 KMs but will also serve as all weather road which will help in easy movement of traffic and transporting heavy machineries for Hydro Power projects in Tawang", he informed while seeking support for approval of this project by the Center.
Tourism Minister Pema Khandu in his welcome speech expressed the desire of people of Tawang to see Rahul for long and said the dream came true with his maiden visit. He expressed hope that Rahul would visit Tawang again in the future.
Parliamentary Secretary to Civil Aviation Jambey Tashi said Rahul's visit has cemented the relation Nehru-Gandhi family shared with Tawang and state as a whole.
Earlier, Rahul laid a wreath at the War Memorial, unveiled busts of his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, grand mother Indira Gandhi and his father Rajiv Gandhi at the Nehru Gompa.
Rahul also paid homage at the 400-year-old Galden Namgyal Lhatse Monastery, popularly known as Tawang Monastery and laid foundation stone of the Rajiv Gandhi High Altitude Sports Complex at Tawang to be funded by the Center.
Former chief minister Jarbom Gamlin, MPs Mukut Mithi and Takam Sanjoy, WRD Minister Newlai Tingkhatra, UD Minister Rajesh Tacho, Agriculture and Horticulture Minister Setong Sena, Parliamentary Secretaries-T N Thongdok, Likha Saaya, Passang Dorjee Sona, Phurpa Tsering, Tsewang Dondup shared the dais with Rahul. (ANI)