Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister Manmohan SinghReuters

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his gratitude to the people of Assam for giving "affection", "friendship" and "home" when he became homeless.

Manmohan Singh, who is in the state to inaugurate the Platinum Jubilee Celebration of Assam Legislative Assembly in Guwahati Friday said, "I am truly delighted to be here once again in my adopted home state of Assam. I am particularly happy to be here today a week after Bihu. I wish the people of Assam sustained peace, progress and prosperity."

Remembering his earlier days in his native village, Gah in Pakistan's Punjab Province, the Prime Minister said that, "I remain deeply indebted to the people of Assam. I was born in a distant and dusty village in a part of this sub-continent that is no longer in India."

"At a tender age I became homeless and a migrant. It is in Assam that I have finally found a home that has given me a sense of belonging. The friendship, the affection and the warmth that each one of you have so readily extended to me is something I cannot and will not ever forget," he added.

Addressing the gathering at the Platinum Jubilee Celebration of Assam Legislative Assembly in Guwahati, Manmohan Singh said, "This legislative assembly is a temple of our democracy. It is a sacred place for us to reaffirm our Constitutional commitment to pluralism, to human rights, to secularism and to the dignity of every citizen."

Pointing out the 6.8 percent average economic growth rate of the state during the first four years of the 11th Five year plan, the Prime Minister said "I am delighted to learn that in the last year of the 11th Plan Assam is expected to record a growth rate of 7.18 percent. Assam is catching up with the national average."

He also informed that the annual plan outlay for the state has increased from Rs 3000 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 9,000 crore in 2011-2012.

"The total transfers to Assam for the period 2010-2015 as per the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission would be about Rs 58,000 crore against the total of Rs 24,000 crore estimated for the period 2005-2010," he said.