By-poll is the penalty shootout for Sikkim’sfuture: Golay

PS Goley
Sun, Aug 11, 2019

PANKAJ DHUNGEL
GANGTOK:
As the party seeks to consolidate its position in the State Legislative Assembly by bagging three more seats in the ensuing by-polls, SKM president and Chief Minister P.S. Golay today termed the by-polls as the 'penalty shootout for the future of Sikkim.’ Golay’s metaphorical remark came exactly a year after he expressed that it didn’t matter who is the captain or the coach, SKM would form the government.
A year later, with the party having bagged 17 seats and formed the government, the Chief Minister said the by-election is a chance for the people of the three constituencies (Gangtok, Martam Rumtek and Poklok Kamrang) to redeem their opportunity to be part of the‘Parivartan.’
Commenting on Poklok Kamrang constituency (vacated by Pawan Chamling while retaining Namchi-Singithang seat), Golay said the condition of the constituency is terrible with the downtrodden being ignored by Chamling and SDF party for the best part of 25 years. “The benefits and grants for the people were all given away to the families of Chamling. Similarly, since we are in Marchak, Ranipool here today, the area falls under Martam Rumtek constituency which was also relinquished by SDF’s D.T. Lepcha. The people of this constituency having faith in Lepcha voted for him from the constituency but Lepcha chose Gnathang-Machong to represent the people. So the people from the constituency currently do not have anyone to represent them,” stated Golay.
Golay having termed the by-elections as a penalty shoot-out added that the people of all three by-poll bound constituencies have a chance to restore their faith in democracy by voting SKM to represent them from the constituency. He also mentioned how two SDF legislators – G.T. Dhungel and Em Prasad Sharma have already extended support to the SKM government.
“We do have a clear majority to represent the people.We won the elections fair and square with 17 seats majority as against SDF’s 15 seats. Nowwe have 2 more MLAs from SDF joining hands with us, so SDF can go on boycotting the proceedings of the House or terming our government illegal. But through due consultations with the Governor Ganga Prasad, SKM formed the government,” asserted Golay.
Amid mutters of whether he would continue holding both the posts of Chief Minister and party president, contrary to the party’s earlier ‘one man, one post,’ pledge, Golay urged the party functionaries to reach out to the people and seek their opinions along with meetings to elect a new party president. “I have always enjoyed being the party president of SKM more than being the Chief Minister of Sikkim. But, currently my work as Chief Minister curtails me from working as the party president with as much devotion. I would like to state that all decisions of the State will take place through due consultation with SKM party.The party must continue its quest to bring about checks and balances to the functioning of the government, only then can we restore Sikkim to be for its people,” he said.
Terming himself as a 'zero’ without the people, Golay recalled his days and struggle in Rongneyk jail, exactly 2 years ago when he was put behind bars and the change in government ushered since his release on August 10, last year. “I am Zero without the support of the people. The united support of the people will add as one in front of me as a zero. And from that same added zeroes who make up for thousands of Golays here in the State.We will usher the true system change in Sikkim. All the promises made by SKM will be fulfilled in these 5 years.”
Golay also recalled the contribution of SKM MLAs Kunga Nima Lepcha and Sonam Lama for having carried the party activities during his absence. “Even when I was in jail, these two MLAs used to come to the jail to discuss with me the functioning of the party and how best to serve the people. With a single strength as a rebel MLA under SDF, I raised my voice for the people in the Assembly. Similar stand was taken by the two MLAs during my absence from 2017 to 2018. When one leader can be an opposition in the Assembly, it truly is disheartening to see the absence of opposition in the Assembly, over the ego of one person who cannot bear to see me in the Assembly.”
In his address, the SKM president however made it clear that the the SKM government would release disburse all grants promised to the people by the SDF government before the elections along with some new initiatives.


Area: 7096 Sq Km
Capital:Gangtok
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Climate:
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