High drama follows oath taking of MLAs, Speaker election at Xth Assembly first sitting

The first session of the Xth Sikkim Legislative Assembly
Tue, Jun 4, 2019

The first session of the Xth Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Monday saw the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) and opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) resuming from where they had left their political hostilities at the recently concluded elections.
It was the first sitting of the newly elected members of the Xth Sikkim Legislative Assembly who were administrated oath by Speaker Pro-Tem Sangay Lepcha. At the outset, it was a cordial beginning with SKM president and Chief Minister P.S. Golay walking up – without taking his seat - to greet SDF president and former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling sitting in the opposition bench.
Golay approached with a Namaste and Chamling responded by offering his right hand for a handshake.
Senior ministers Kunga Nima Lepcha and Bedu Singh Panth also followed and greeted the former Chief Minister.
The proceedings of the day started with Speaker Pro-Tem Sangay Lepcha administrating oath to the newly elected members of the Assembly. This was followed by election of West Pendam legislator L.B. Das as the Speaker and Yuksom-Tashiding legislator Sangay Lepcha as the deputy Speaker.
The newly-elected head of Assembly had just taken charge of his responsibilities when the former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling stood up and spoke. He questioned the legality and Constitutional validity of P.S. Golay taking oath as the Chief Minister of Sikkim.
As Chamling was speaking, RMD minister Sonam Lama and other members from the Treasury Bench stood up and countered. As both sides were speaking, Chamling ended his talk and left the House with rest of the SDF legislators. Shockingly, some undignified words against Chamling were heard from the visitors’ gallery as the SDF team approached the exit door.
Speaker L.B. Das told the House that remarks made by both the Treasury and Opposition benches have been expunged from the proceedings of the House.
Later speaking with the media, Chief Minister P.S. Golay said he was not aware of the slogans made from the visitor’s gallery. “That I am not aware. If it is so, the Assembly Secretariat will take appropriate action,” he said.
Asked about questions made by Chamling on his Chief Minister’s appointment, Golay said: “They (SDF) have not accepted democracy. As per the constitutional provisions, any non-elected member can be a Chief Minister for six months. This provision is there, they have not understood it. And this was not a matter to be discussed today. Today is a day when members take oath. He (Chamling) has done Chief Ministership for 25 years and should have understood it.”
Golay had not contested the 2019 Assembly elections but led the SKM party to victory with 17 seats. He was administrated the oath as the Chief Minister by Governor Ganga Prasad at Paljor Stadium on May 27.

Area: 7096 Sq Km
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi