Meghalaya is 'least developed' state: CM Sangma

Shillong, Sep 27 (IANS) Welcoming the Rajan panel report, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Friday admitted that Meghalaya is "least developed" state.

"Is it not true? If it is not true, then why are our boys and youths joining the militants?" asked Sangma to a query on the report at a news conference.

"We are far behind, and we need to catch up with the rest of the country. Forget about the world. If you are looking from a global perspective, India itself has to catch up with the rest of the world," he said.

The panel for "Evolving a Composite Development Index of States", headed by the then chief economic advisor Raghuram Govind Rajan, now the Reserve Bank of India governor, was set up by the central government amid demand by Bihar for "special category" status.

Based on the multi dimensional index scores, the 10 least developed states are Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Describing Rajan's panel as "true", Sangma said, "We have many things to do. A number of initiatives are on from the government. Meghalaya should be a destination for everything which would open up hundreds of new opportunities for our youths. That is what we are looking at."

"We are candid in saying that we are behind. We are much behind despite having the potentialities and the strength among the people. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to create an enabling environment so that at the end of the day, people will stand to gain."

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