Doklam
File Photo of Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.

The Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has said that during the Doklam stand-off with China, the State Government was kept in the dark by the Centre. He said neither the Central Government nor the Army had informed him anything about the situation.

A report published in the The Economic Times quoted Chamling as saying, “Even during such tense times, whatever I heard and saw on the stand-off was from television and newspapers.” Chamling told this to a group of visiting journalists from West Bengal in Gangtok on Monday.

He said that there was a “fear psychosis” among the people of Sikkim on the Doklam issue. The Sikkim Government’s stand was to do everything in its capacity to “uphold the sanctity and security of the nation”, the Chief Minister said.

The report further stated that troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam from June 16 last year, after the Indian side stopped building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. The stalemate ended on August 28, 2017.

Responding to a question about Sikkim-West Bengal relations in the context of separate statehood demand in Darjeeling, Chamling said he had spoken to the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on more than one occasions and assured her of “working together to maintain peace in the hills”.

Chamling, the longest serving Chief Minister in the country, said the two States have agreed to share each other’s resources in sectors such as tourism and industry. He said the focus of his Government is to ensure qualitative development through scientific, environment-friendly and sustainable methods.

Some of the steps taken by the Sikkim Government towards environment conservation have resulted in a 4 per cent increase in forest cover, the Chief Minister said. Chamling also said the State is working towards enhancing the quality of education in Sikkim.

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