Peace, political stability makes Assam engine of growth: PM

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    A period of social peace and political stability has brought about a new wave of development in Assam, making it an engine of growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here today.

    He was inaugurating the year-long platinum jubilee celebrations of the Assam Legislative Assembly that was first constituted in April 1937.

    Singh also appealed to the ''few'' insurgent groups that were still outside the democratic process to understand the sentiments of the people of Assam and come forward to create an atmosphere conducive for accelerating the pace of social and economic development.

    ''There is a general realisation today that violence provides no answers and that diverse groups can fulfill their aspirations only through engagement in the democratic processes. I am sure the few insurgent groups that continue to remain outside the democratic process will understand the sentiments of the people of Assam and come forward to create an atmosphere that is conducive for accelerating the pace of social and economic development in this great beautiful state,'' he said, asserting that Assam's development could also be the engine of growth for the entire Northeastern region.

    Singh said Assam and other Northeastern states should also play leading roles in realising India's look-east policy. ''Next month, I am scheduled to visit Myanmar. I will discuss with the leadership of Myanmar how we can increase opportunities for expansion of trade, economic cooperation and connectivity to the larger ASEAN region. Assam and other states of the Northeast can and should play leading roles in our efforts to look east-wards," he said.

    Complimenting the Congress government in the state headed by Tarun Gogoi for ''taking Assam to new heights of development'', Prime Minister Singh said Assam's growth rate had jumped from just 1.51 per cent in the 9th plan period to about 5.7 per cent during the 10th plan period.

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