Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused the Congress of ignoring the development of Mizoram and said the North East has moved beyond shutdowns, guns and blockades. He was addressing a public meeting in the state’s Lunglei district ahead of the November 28 Assembly elections.

“The North East has moved past from guns, shutdowns and blockades,” the prime minister said. “Today, everyone is experiencing it, from Itanagar to Aizawl, from Kohima to Kamrup.”

The Congress, which once governed most states, is now restricted to just a handful, Modi said, adding: “Now, the people of Mizoram have a golden opportunity to rid themselves of this Congress culture.”

The prime minister said the Opposition party’s “work culture” has delayed several projects in the state and caused infrastructure to crumble, while the neighbouring states governed by the BJP have excellent roads and railway network. “Due to the Congress government in Mizoram, people aren’t able to benefit from it,” Modi added. “In fact, the Congress government does not bother about Mizoram.”

Modi said his government has been working hard to develop the country’s eastern and northeastern parts. “In the last four-and-a-half years, the BJP at the Centre has been working on ‘Act Fast for India’s East’,” he added. “And we have developed every region of the North East.”

Modi accused Congress leaders of disrespecting local traditions by insulting regional attire. “They went on to call local attire, given to me by the North East people, outlandish,” he said. The prime minister was referring to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s comment in August that Modi dons all sorts of “outlandish headgear”. The government had demanded an apology from the Congress for the parliamentarian’s remark.