China's claims on Arunachal absurd: Chief minister Dorjee Khandu
IANS 25 October 2009, 12:30pm IST
ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu, who was on Sunday sworn in to the office for a second straight tenure, termed China's claims to Arunachal Pradesh as its territory as "simply absurd". ( Watch Video )
"I have been telling repeatedly that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and that Chinese claims are simply absurd.
"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.
"Now, we are all set to welcome the Dalai Lama who is visiting the state from November 8."
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 said.
Khandu, 54, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Gen. (Retd) JJ Singh at a simple function in the Raj Bhawan attended by all the Congress legislators.
Khandu was the only one to be sworn-in on Sunday.
"The other ministers will take oath in a day or two," the chief minister 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.
"People voted for us as we worked sincerely in the past five years, and they saw visible development. Moreover, we provided a clean and stable government and never compromised on our ideals," he said.
The Trinamool Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with five seats each have emerged as the primary opposition, followed by the People's Party of Arunachal, a regional party, with four seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning three seats, besides an independent candidate.
"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."