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Congress leader welcomes Dalai Lama to Arunachal

October 25, 2009 19:33 IST

Kiren Rijiju, a former Member of Parliament representing Arunachal Pradesh and Congress' lead campaigner in the recent assembly elections, said his party would welcome the historic trip of his Holiness the Dalai Lama's trip to Arunachal Pradesh next month, when he visits the state on a spiritual mission.

"I would be personally present to receive his Holiness in the state," said Rijiju in an interview to in New Delhi early on Sunday morning.

Asked if the Union government had cleared the trip of the Dalai Lama, who is on a spiritual mission to Arunachal Pradesh, Rijiju said the clearance was only a formality.

"Once the prime minister returns to India, things will be sorted out."

Regarding the recent controversy on the Chinese' reaction to Indian Prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh's visit to Arunachal, he said, "Dr Singh is the prime minister of India and does not need any permission from Chinese authorities."

"Dr Singh has granted a Rs 24,000-crore package for setting up infrastructure including an airport in Arunachal Pradesh so that the place becomes accessible to the people," Rijiju said.

He said he was not interested in holding posts and would rather work for the progress of Arunachal Pradesh without holding any designations.

"Let anybody else do that job (of holding posts)," he said.

He clarified that it was his own decision to not to contest for the position of chief minister and to rather work for the state.

Rijiju said he was not opposed to the conditions laid down by the Centre regarding granting of work permit to skilled persons and that he did not want to "dig out the past".

"Let us live in the future. We want to have good relationship with China."
Onkar Singh in New Delhi