Gangtok: Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Sunday creates history by surpassing the record of former communist ruler of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu, as the longest serving chief minister in the country.
Chamling, 68, touched Basu’s record on Saturday and wrote a long post on his Facebook page. “As I cross a personal milestone, I would like to remember fondly all those who have been a part of this journey of more than two decades. First and foremost, my heartfelt gratitude goes to the people of Sikkim for reposing their faith in me by giving their mandate for five record consecutive terms,” he wrote.
The CPM, the party to which Basu belonged, is therefore poised to lose a second record after 2011, when Mamata Banerjee ended its 34-year rule in Bengal.
Basu was Bengal chief minister for 8,358 days – from June 21, 1977, to November 5, 2000 – which the man from Yangang village in North Sikkim equalled on Saturday and will surpass on Sunday. Chamling became chief minister on December 12, 1994.
He claimed that from a backward and little known state, Sikkim has been transformed to the most progressive State with the highest growth rate in the Country.
“Our policies and initiatives have been path-breaking and has brought appreciation and acclaim to Sikkim in the Country and abroad. It gives me immense satisfaction to see that our initiatives, such as organic farming, skill development, cleanliness drives and many of our environment-friendly policies are being replicated in other parts of the country as well as, at the national level and overseas,” he stated.
Claiming that Sikkim as a poverty-free State is at the top of the ladder in the country with regard to education, health and rural development, the CM stated, “Our eco-friendly tourism policy has transformed Sikkim into a renowned and most sought-after tourist destination. Starting of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through Nathula in 2015 is another accomplishment that will aid in promoting tourism in the State.”