Kolkata(PTI): Reaching out to States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Centre and states should work together as 'Team India' to solve national problems like they have worked to resolve issues like the Indo-Bangla Land Boundary Agreement. "If issues with foreign countries can be resolved through the spirit of 'Team India', solving domestic issues will be very easy," he said after inaugurating the modernised IISCO Steel Plant here. Observing that the bill to give effect to the Indo-Bangla accord was passed unanimously by Parliament, Modi said all political parties and states like West Bengal, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura worked "shoulder to shoulder with the Centre" to resolve this issue.
Vowing to work with the states to "take India forward", the Prime Minister said it has been a "misfortune" that in the past there have been tensions between states and the Centre. "I too have been a Chief Minister for many years and I know that this attitude (of the Centre) towards states will not help anyone. Our Constitution has given us a federal structure. But unfortunately Centre-state relations have always come under stress", he said.
Asserting that PM and CMs would act as a team which would take India forward, he said, "Delhi alone will not rule India. Delhi will not be the only pillar on which the country will stand, but it will be supported by 30 pillars (of states)" and referred to the establishment of the Niti Aayog which has all states as partners. The Prime Minister said his government's effort was to make Eastern India powerful, for which West Bengal needs to be strengthened first. "West Bengal will lead India's 'Act East' policy to cooperate with the nations of Southeast Asia," Modi said in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Modi also took a dig at the previous UPA regime, saying media was full of reports on all kinds of "scams" in that period. "Now, the reports are not about coal scam but about coal auction," he said, adding there has been no report of any scam even as his government gets ready to complete one year this month.
Talking about the districts in which coal mines have been allotted, Modi said a Foundation will be created in each of them and a portion of royalty earned through auction will go to it to benefit locals. Speaking on the occasion, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stressed that the Centre and the states will have to work hand-in-hand for taking the country's progress forward.
Modi said the chief minister was right in saying so.
The IISCO plant had been modernised at a cost Rs 16,000 crore to raise the production capacity from 0.85 mtpa to 2.9 mtpa and would have the largest blast furnace. Modi also mentioned that all the rating agencies were saying that India was the fastest developing nation in the world.