Gangtok, Apr 8 (PTI) Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling today defended his government’s move to ban non-organic agri produce and blamed vendors for the prevailing vegetables crisis in the state.

The Sikkim government had imposed a complete ban on sale and consumption of non-organic agricultural and horticultural produce with effect from April 1.

Chamling also described the present crisis as a temporary one.

“It is due to greed for profiteering that the vegetable vendors were not inclined to sell organic agricultural and horticultural commodities,” Chamling said.

He said that the measure has been taken in the larger interests of the people and environment.

Describing Sikkim as an abode of peace and tranquillity, Chamling said it can lead by example on how to maintain peace and tranquillity despite being a border state.

“The people of Sikkim are fully integrated with the Union of India, both physically and emotionally…the Himalayan state is an epitome of peace and tranquillity,” he said at a function here.

The peaceful situation prevailing in Sikkim was worth emulating by Jammu & Kashmir, a border state on the Northern side of Himalayas, he said.

Chamling said the people of North-Eastern states, including Sikkim, are widely discriminated by fellow citizens in other states over physical features.

“It really hurts all of us when a native of a North-Eastern state is mocked outside over facial features and dubbed as a foreigner,” he observed.

“We are as Indians as any individual from other parts of India and deserve the same respect as they get,” Chamling said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.