Chamling accuses pol parties of interfering in internal affairs

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Gangtok, Apr 5 (UNI) Accusing the opposition political parties and outside forces of 'instigating' the anti-hydel protests in the state, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today warned that outside interference in the internal matters will not be tolerated by his government and the Sikkimese people.

''Outside forces and opposition political parties are riding on top of the Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) in the ongoing protests against the power projects in North Sikkim,'' said Mr Chamling at Samman Bhavan here.

'' Outside people need not interfere in the internal matters of our state,'' he warned.

A large number of people, led by their three area MLAs, had taken out a vehicle rally from North Sikkim up to Gangtok to register their support to the proposed power projects in their region.

A memorandum signed on behalf of panchayats and the people of North Sikkim was submitted to the Chief Minister demanding implementation of the power projects in the region 'duly considering the aspirations, interests and grievances of people of the district.' The pro-project group also said the projects are in the interests of the country and the state and if the projects are not implemented then they will also go on a hunger strike.

Chamling told the pro-project group that the government will go ahead with the power projects that the government had entered into an MoU with the developers in North Sikkim.

These power projects also includes the controversial 280 MW Panang power project in the Lepcha reserve of Dzongu, North Sikkim against which ACT have launched indefinite hunger strike at Bhutia-Lepcha (BL) community house, Gangtok since March 10.

Chamling accused that the opposition and outside force sponsored ACT has captured the BL house and only the anti-Sikkimese forces are residing there. BL house is being misused, he said.

On the other hand, ACT chief coordinator Tseten Lepcha said moving out of BL house is out of question and if the pro-project people want to sit on a hunger strike at BL house they are welcome.

Lepcha reiterated that ACT is totally a non political organization and they cannot be blamed if political parties support ACT's cause on their own.

Meanwhile, the indefinite hunger strike of two ACT members Dawa T.Lepcha and Tenzing Gyatso Lepcha reached its 27th day today.

UNI BG KK DB1821

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