Peace call by Meghalaya CM

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Shillong, Aug 15 (UNI) Defying the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) sponsored 24-hour bandh against the celebration of Independence Day, people today celebrated India's 61st Independence Day.

Unfurling the tricolour here, Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy in his maiden Independence Day speech stressed the need of maintaining political stability, peace and a harmonious environment to achieve economic growth and prosperity of the state.

''Our government is deeply committed to the people of Meghalaya, the development of the state and the well being of the people,'' Dr Roy said.

He assured the people that his government will work sincerely towards attainment of the goals that the have been set out.

''No doubt there is much that has changed. There is, however, much more that needs to be done. Strategically, we will build upon our strengths and address our weakness within the framework of the Common Minimum Programme,'' Dr Roy asserted.

In order to promote agriculture, the Chief Minister said that the government will adopt a 'farmer first' approach that seeks to increase investment in the sector, enhance food production and security, and encourage the growth and diversification of agricultural activities.

The agriculture department will transform itself from an input based orientation to a knowledge and technology based department, he said, revealing the government's intention to establish Meghalaya as the Fruit'n'Flower state, not only of the North East, but of the country.

Stating that the government attaches the highest priority to education, Dr Roy said the government's objective is to make Shillong an educational hub of the North east and to make the Shillong a 'knowledge city'.

''Institutions and entrepreneurs will be encouraged to set up Information and Technology enabled services and provide diploma and other professional courses for gainful employment,'' he informed.

Today's celebrations were marred by rains to a large extent.

In other district headquarters of the state, people celebrated Independence Day amidst tight security.

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