Sikkim chief minister attacks Rahul Gandhi for poll speech

April 28th, 2009 - 12:12 am ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Singtam (Sikkim), April 27 (IANS) Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling Monday attacked Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi for alleging that the state government had not utilised the central funds allocated for its budget, saying Gandhi’s whistle-stop campaign tour did not give him the right to speak like that.
The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) leader, speaking to reporters, said: “Who is Rahul Gandhi to judge where the budget has been utilized, for that we have the accountant general and the finance ministry who check the accounts. This is not justified and I condemn these allegations. Being here for a little more than 20 minutes does not give him a right to speak on what has happened and what not. This is a direct insult to the entire Sikkimese people,” he stated.

Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Gangtok on April 25 had alleged that the state government had not utilized the Rs.55 billion sent as its annual budget.

Chamling also said the time allocated by a leader of Rahul Gandhi’s stature to the state also proved what the central government felt for the people of Sikkim. “He should have known that the SDF is still a member of the UPA and has supported the central government ‘unconditionally’. I have never bargained with the central leaders on what ministerial berths and constitutional portfolios our MPs should get, which is what the UPA government should have realized. We are not beggars and we want no nepotism and favoritism,” he was quoted as saying.

Chamling expressed confidence of the SDF winning the assembly elections on April 30. He said the party would win all the 32 assembly seats as well as the lone Lok Sabha seat and he would from the government for the fourth term on May 20.

Chamling also added that the recent influx of Bangladeshi and Nepal nationals into the country was a collective responsibility and that it was the duty of every state to check this inflow of foreigners. “I agree that the areas where the borders lie are the most sensitive but then the states from where this influx is actually coming in have to first tie up their shoe laces.”

He also stated that the people of Sikkim shared an emotional tie with Darjeeling’s demand for Gorkhaland and said the state government would also pass a resolution in the assembly on the issue if required. “I assure our neighbours full support when the situation demands and we are needed,” he told reporters.

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