(Eds: Adding details of projects inaugurated by PM) Changsari (Assam), Feb 9 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday assured the people of Assam and the Northeast that the citizenship bill will in no way cause harm to their interests.

Addressing a public rally in this assembly constituency of Assam Health Minister and BJP-led NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma, he said the NDA government is committed to protecting the language, culture, resources, hopes and aspirations of the people of Assam and the Northeast.

“It is a national commitment to the people of the Northeast that they will not be harmed in any way and citizenship will be only granted after due investigation and recommendation of the state governments,” Modi said.

It must be understood that there is a difference between those who forcefully entered the country and those who were “forced to flee their homes to save their lives due to their faith. Both are not the same”, he asserted.

“We have committed to provide shelter to those who are minorities in neighbouring countries and had to leave everything due to the atrocities inflicted on them. They have come to our country and embraced the idea and ethos of Mother India,” he said.

The prime minister also said that the BJP is committed to implementing the 36-year-old Assam Accord and a committee set up on the implementation of its Clause 6 is a step in that direction.

The government wants to make Assam the oil and gas hub of the country and in the last four years projects worth Rs 14,000 crore have been completed, he said.

The prime minister peppered his speech with sentences in Assamese, paid rich tributes to the state’s icons Srimanata Sankardeva, Madhavdeva, Azan Fakir, Chaolung Sukapha, Lachit Barphukan, Gopinath Bordoloi and Bhupen Hazarika.

He said the previous governments “failed” to honour these icons and it was the BJP government which took the initiative of conferring the Bharat Ratna on Assam’s first chief minister Gopinath Bordoloi during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s term and now to music legend Hazarika.

Prior to the rally, the prime minister laid the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to be set up at Changsari.

He also laid the foundation of the six-lane bridge over Brahmaputra river connecting Guwahati and North Guwahati.

He laid the foundation stone of North East Gas Grid and the City Gas Distribution Networks in Kamrup, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts and inaugurated the Hollong Modular Gas Processing Plant and LPG Capacity Augmentation of Mounted Storage Vessel in North Guwahati.

He also laid the foundation stone of NRL Bio Refinery at Numaligarh and a 729 km gas pipeline from Barauni- Guwahati passing through Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.