Itanagar, April 10: Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh to launch the ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ was met with objections from China. However, Shah made it clear that no one could question India’s territorial integrity and that nobody could take even an inch of the country’s land.
The programme aims to stop people from leaving villages located near the Line of Actual Control, where China has recently attempted to rename 11 places, including mountain peaks, rivers, and inhabited areas. India has rejected China’s claims and considers Arunachal Pradesh an integral part of the country.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 10, 2023
The ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ is a Centrally-sponsored scheme approved for the comprehensive development of villages in 46 border blocks of 19 districts in four states and one Union territory, including Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Ladakh (UT) abutting the northern border.
A fund of Rs 4,800 crore has been allocated for the programme for the period between 2022-23 and 2025-26, covering a total of 2,967 villages, of which 662 border villages have been identified for comprehensive development on priority. Under the programme, the focus will be on better road connectivity, supply of drinking water, 24X7 electricity supplies, including solar and wind energy, mobile and internet connectivity, tourist centres, multi-purpose centres, healthcare infrastructure, and wellness centres.
Shah praised the Indian army and border police and said that the entire country could sleep peacefully at night because of their efforts. He also highlighted the success of PM Modi’s ‘Look East’ policy and said that the Northeast was now considered an area that contributed to the country’s development.
The United States has also opposed China’s attempts to claim Arunachal Pradesh by renaming localities, stating that it recognized the territory and strongly opposed any unilateral attempts to advance a territory claim. The US views China’s actions as an attempt to advance its claim over Indian territory.
The ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ aims to promote the comprehensive development of villages near the Line of Actual Control, thereby reducing the exodus of villagers to urban areas. Shah’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh was met with objections from China, which views his activities in the area as violating Beijing’s territorial sovereignty.
However, India has always maintained that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country, and China giving its own inventive names will not change the ground reality.