pawan chamling
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling is the longest-serving chief minister in India.IANS

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has revealed that he was kept in the dark by Centre during the Doklam confrontation with China last year. Neither the central government nor the Indian Army gave any information about the situation during the stand-off, said Chamling.

"Whatever I heard and saw regarding the tense situation between India and China was from the TV and newspapers," Chamling said.

The people of Sikkim were gripped by a fear psychosis regarding the Doklam issue as the area where the confrontation took place is not very far from the state's border, the chief minister said.

He added that the state government did everything in its power to uphold the sovereignty of the country.

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day confrontation starting June 16, 2017, after Indian soldiers stopped China from building a road in the disputed area. The issue was resolved on August 28, 2017, when troops from both sides withdrew.

On the demands for a separate state for Darjeeling, Chamling said he spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the issue and assured her that the Sikkim government would cooperate with her government to maintain peace in the region. He added that the two states have agreed to share resources in sectors of industry and tourism.

Chamling, the longest-serving chief minister in the country, said the main focus of his government was to ensure that development is done in a scientific and environmentally-friendly manner.

"Steps taken by the Sikkim Government towards conservation of the environment have resulted in an increase of forest cover by four per cent," the chief minister said.

He added that the government is working on enhancing the quality of education in the state.