Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led government in Tripura believes in violence and “gun-tantra” and not “ganatantra [democracy]”. Modi made the remark at a rally in Agartala’s Shanti Bazar locality ahead of elections in the state on February 18.

Taking on both the Left parties and the Congress, Modi said that the two parties were the two sides of a coin. “The Left [parties] are scared of a defeat in these elections and because of that they are attacking the BJP karyakartas,” the prime minister claimed. “They will have to answer about all their wrong doings in the last 25 years.”

Reiterating a point he had made in his previous rally in the state, the prime minister asked why the Left government had neither ensured minimum wages nor implemented the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, he added, wants to strengthen connectivity in the state. “In our journey to build a ‘New India’, we also want to build a modern and new Tripura.”

Earlier in the day, at events in Arunachal Pradesh, the prime minister said he will ask his administration’s officials to attend more events and meetings in the Northeast.

Modi inaugurated the Dorjee Khandu state convention centre and Civil Secretariat in Itanagar, and laid the foundation stone for an academic block at the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science in the town of Naharlagun.

“Why should meetings be held in the national capital only,” the prime minister asked. “We must go to all states and that is why I went to Shillong for a North Eastern Council meeting and an important meeting related to agriculture was held in Sikkim. I am personally going to tell people – go to Arunachal Pradesh and hold your important meetings at the convention centre.”

Morarji Desai was the last prime minister to attend the North Eastern Council meeting, the prime minister said. “No prime minister got the time to attend it after that,” Modi said. “They became very busy. But I have come because of you.”

The prime minister praised Arunachal Pradesh for being the state that understood and spoke Hindi the most, NDTV quoted him as saying. The youth are asking to be taught Hindi, Modi said.

He also announced the renaming of the Naharlagun-New Delhi train as the Arunachal Pradesh Express, and said that “it will run twice a week”.

Healthcare in the region needs to be improved and made more affordable and the Union and state government are working to achieve that goal through the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the prime minister added.

The prime minister also took a jibe at the previous Congress-led government. “There is no dearth of money in the country, but if there is a hole in the bucket then how will water hold,” Modi said. “Our country has been running like this in the past.”