Khandu rebuffs China, welcomes Dalai Lama

Arunachal CM Dorjee Khandu has termed China’s claim on his state’s territory as ‘simply absurd’.

Updated: Oct 25, 2009, 13:17 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Itanagar: After swearing in for his second term as Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, on Sunday, termed China’s claim on his state’s territory as ‘simply absurd’.

"I have been telling repeatedly that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and that Chinese claims are simply absurd,” Khandu said.

"Now, we are all set to welcome the Dalai Lama who is visiting the state from Nov 8."
"We are the only state in the northeast where Hindi is the link language among various tribes who speak different dialects," Khandu said after his swearing in ceremony.

He also said his government`s topmost priority would be to work for the overall economic uplift of the state, especially focusing on developing infrastructure and boosting education and health sectors.

"Now, after the people have given us a thumping victory in the elections, we need to work even harder to achieve accelerated pace of development and growth in the state," Khandu told reporters.

Dorjee Khandu, who steered the Congress to a two-third majority in the Assembly Elections in Arunachal Pradesh, was sworn in as the Chief Minister on Sunday.

"The second term for us would be more challenging as we have to speed up development projects so that the benefits of the schemes reach the people," Khandu said.

"Social sectors, health, education, roads and infrastructure are the areas that we are going to give maximum thrust and focus to this time."

Khandu was the only one to be sworn-in Sunday.

"The other ministers will take oath in a day or two," the Chief Minister said.

Khandu’s name was cleared as the Congress Legislative Party leader by party chief Sonia Gandhi yesterday had met Governor JJ Singh to stake claim to form government.

On Saturday, all the 42 newly-elected legislators attended the CLP meeting where central observers V Narayansami and Luizinho Faleiro were present.

Khandu`s name as the CLP leader, however, was announced in evening only.
Asked about the delay, AICC secretary Sanjay Bapna said, "There was no contender."

"Even I was not a contender," Khandu said.

The Congress party won a landslide victory in the Assembly polls, winning 42 seats in the 60-member legislature, eight more than it won in 2004.

Hooda to be sworn today in Chandigarh

Bhupinder Singh Hooda will take oath as Chief Minister of Haryana for a second time Sunday.

Hooda`s name was announced early Sunday by the Congress high command in New Delhi following two days of suspense over the Haryana leadership issue.

The oath-taking ceremony will take place at the Haryana Raj Bhavan here at 4 pm, state government officials said Sunday.

Party president Sonia Gandhi was authorised by the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), which met in Chandigarh Friday, to name the next Chief Minister.

Though caretaker Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda`s name continued to be in the front, there was also a speculation about the Congress MP from Ambala and Union Minister for Tourism Kumari Selja running for the post.

Finally, Hooda, a Jat community leader from Rohtak district who first became Chief Minister March 2005, was named to head the Congress government in Haryana again.

Earlier Saturday, Hooda was called to New Delhi for a meeting with Congress MPs from the state and senior Congress leaders. Party sources said that some leaders wanted the high command to name a non-Jat Chief Minister.

The Congress in Haryana had on Friday staked claim before Governor Jagannath Pahadia after it got the support of all seven independent candidates who won the Oct 13 Assembly election. The Congress bagged 40 seats in the 90-member assembly and fell six seats short of a simple majority in the house.

Hooda had led the party government in the state since March 2005 and had got the previous assembly dissolved seven months ahead of schedule to seek early assembly poll. The Congress wanted to cash on its nine seats out of 10 success in the May Lok Sabha poll.

(With IANS inputs)