Sikkim CM set to complete 20 years in office
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling, who is serving his fifth consecutive term, is set to complete 20 years in office next week and may break the 23-year-old record of Jyoti Basu if he completes his present tenure in 2019.
64-year-old Chamling first assumed office on December 12 in 1994 when his Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) won the assembly elections. He won a fifth consecutive time in the state assembly elections held in May 2014.
Chamling is currently the longest serving chief minister in the country. Basu was chief minister of West Bengal from June 21, 1977 to November 6, 2000. During Chamling’s tenure, the Sikkim government has started various flagship programmes for making the tiny hill state a model state in the country, an official release said. Sikkim has become the leading state of producing organic fruits and vegetables with a total 58,168 hectare of land under organic cultivation. Environmentally, Sikkim continues to be India’s greenest state based on interpretation of satellite data, the release said.
Sikkim is greenest state in the country and according to latest data, 3,359 sq km of the state, or 47.3 per cent is under forest cover against the national average of 21%. Sikkim government has initiated a Rs 391 crore project for constructing nearly 8,000 resilient houses capable of withstanding earthquakes and minimise loss of lives and property, the release said. Seventy people were killed in the September, 2011 earthquake in the state.