Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was today conferred with the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Lifetime Achievement Honour in Public Service by President Pranab Mukherjee here. The award was conferred during the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat memorial lecture delivered by the President. Receiving the award, Chamling expressed his gratitude towards the people of Rajasthan and said the main aim of public service is to bring change in the life of people and improve their living conditions. Chamling, who was first elected to power in 1994 and has continued to be chief minister for 22 years, lauded former vice-president Shekhawat as a visionary leader who cared for his people. Shekhawat was the vice-president between 2002 and 2007. Mukherjee lauded Chamling's contribution to Sikkim and said it is emerging as a role model for other states. Known as the 'Land of Flowers' with a population of around six lakhs, Sikkim is gaining popularity as a fully organic state in India. It contributes around 80,000 million tonnes of organic produce out of total 1.24 million tonnes produced in India. Those present on the occasion included Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, his Punjab counterpart V P Singh Badnore, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
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