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Eyeing tourism and electoral prospects, PM directs Ministers to make overnight stay in NE

Eyeing tourism and electoral prospects, PM directs Ministers to make overnight stay in NE

New Delhi, May 19 (UNI) In an ingenious move to boost tourism in the Northeastern region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered that Union Ministers who visit the far-flung but picturesque States to make night halt there. An order to this effect may be issued soon, official sources said here. The new move comes about two years after the Prime Minister's Office planned "fortnightly visits" of Union Ministers to the region -- which often has over the years alleged the Central Government of neglecting them. According to sources in the Ministries of Personnel and Tourism, all the Union Ministers have been asked to visit the Northeastern States and also to make overnight stay there. This move would help eradicate a perception that the insurgency-hit Northeastern States are actually a security-concerned issue especially for the VVIPs, a source said. "When Union Ministers will stay in the region overnight, this will showcase the region as a safe as well as idyllic destination," the source said. However, the official sources sought to skip a direct reply on whether the Prime Minister's new directive was linked to the ensuing Assembly elections in three northeastern states -- Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland. Elections in these states are due by March 2018. Meanwhile, sources said BJP's MODI (Making of Developed India) Festival -- marking completion of three years in office of BJP-led dispensation -- is likely to be started from May 26 from one of the Northeastern States. The BJP has captured power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh while it is in alliance with the ruling NPF in Nagaland. On May 6-7, BJP president Amit Shah visited the known CPI(M) citadel -- Tripura -- wherein the saffron party is keen to give a serious contest to the Marxists, who have been in power in the State since mid-Nineties. UNI DEVN RSA SNU 1854

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