Former Chief Minister of Sikkim,Nar Bahadur Bhandari,on Monday sought to link national security with the outcome of the assembly polls in Sikkim and pitched for a mandate for Congress in the state in national interest keeping in view the strategic location of the Himalayan state.
Sikkim’s location with three countries surrounding it could be safeguarded if the governments at Centre and in the state be the same and voters should give a mandate to the Congress,” Bhandari told reporters in Gangtok after a day-long meeting with the party workers and prospective candidates,at the party office in Gangtok.
State Congress chief also said the responsibility lay with the people to elect his party to power for restoration of democracy and a transparent governance which eluded the state during the 15 years’ rule of Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling.
Congress’s central leadership too was keen that Sikkim lands it their lap politically and for which he had the blessings of Congress President Sonia Gandhi to manage the polls in the best interest of the party and its prospects,Bhandari said.
Earlier addressing a public meeting in Gangtok,Bhandari flayed Chamling government for its failure and said contrary to the state government’s claim the poverty rate has gone up with the list of BPL card holders growing over the years and rural roads were lying unmotorable.
Centre should send a fact-finding team to assess the so-called developments in Sikkim during the 15 years’ SDF government,state Congress President said.
Bhandari also accused the SDF regime of largescale corruption and said that the state revenues and the central grants were stolen by the powerful people in the name of development works which never got implemented.
The state’s borrowing has gone upto Rs. 2500 crores during the decade and a half years rule of the Chamling government and said that a number of projects related to tourism infrastructure like Char Dham,Shakyamuni temple,etc were initiated without allocation of funds for them,he said,adding the state government has been generously borrowing from the central agencies to meet the expenses for these projects.
On the electoral strategy for the assembly polls,Bhandari said the Congress will launch a statewide campaign starting with a public meeting at Geyzing on March 13 next even as a host of the central leaders including Congress president herself and Rahul Gandhi will visit the state for electioneering.