Saturday, Mar 06, 2021 07:45 [IST]
Last Update: Saturday, Mar 06, 2021 02:05 [IST]
GANGTOK,: Chief Minister P.S. Golay has countered that former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling spent so much time outside the State after the 2019 Assembly elections defeat that he is out of touch with the developments in Sikkim.
“I am surprised with the allegations made by the former Chief Minister and SDF president Pawan Chamling. All his allegations are false. Maybe he is giving such statements because he was not in Sikkim after being out of government in 2019 and does not know. He was in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and other places and was out of touch with people and his party workers,” said Golay on Friday to media in west district.
The Chief Minister was responding to allegations made by Chamling during the 29th SDF foundation day programme at SDF Bhawan, Gangtok on Thursday.
Golay dismissed the allegation that the SKM government has given Sangha reservation in municipal elections. “We never gave Sangha reservation and people can see the notification of the reservation pattern for the municipal elections. It is a misleading statement from Chamling and shows that he is out of touch with the Janta,” he said.
Golay maintained that the SKM government has been taking new initiatives in various fields including agriculture, health and education. We have given cash incentives to dairy farmers and also given cash incentives to farmers for five local crops, he said. He pointed to the strengthening of health infrastructure in public healthcare centres wherein dialysis units have been started along with specialized medical treatment at district-level. We have done much work in education sector and people know all about our work, he said.
Chamling had demanded the SKM government to withdraw the expulsion orders issued to the four students of Geyzing Government College and issue an apology to them.
Asked on this, the Chief Minister said there is no requirement of issuing an apology as the expulsion was done by the college administration for repeated breach of discipline.
“Chamling knows this but still made allegations. He may have forgotten how his government in 2014 lathi-charged and shelled tear gas on the college students in Gangtok who were protesting over college fee hike. Whose government arrested the students and hospitalized them?,” countered Golay.
The Chief Minister pointed out that Geying college had started in 2011 from a rented space. “Chamling was in the government till 2019 and during this period, could have developed the infrastructure for the college. It was only before the 2019 elections that he issued a tender for the college campus in haste but without allocating the fund,” he said.
Golay said he had met the students of Geyzing Government College at Gangtok on March 19, 2020 and sanctioned the due payment of Rs. 5 crore to the contractor concerned. “However, national lockdown started from March 25 and everything remained closed. Gradual unlock took place from September 2020 but the migrant labourers stranded in Sikkim left for their homes causing shortage of manpower. The government could not start college campus work and when the manpower returned, we resumed the work on a war-footing and also sanctioned the second phase works in January 2021,” he said.
“All the shortcomings were due to the past government. We stepped in to complete the project but the work got halted due to Covid which is not our fault. The majority of the students are happy with the work taking place before their eyes,” said the Chief Minister.
Regarding Chamling’s contention that SDF will return to power in 2024, Golay said it is for the people to decide whom to elect.
The Chief Minister wrapped up his four-day tour of West Sikkim with a visit of stalls of Atma Nirbhar Sikkim installed by students of Hee Yangthang senior secondary school near Hee Bazaar. He interacted with the students and shared that entrepreneurship is the best option to be self-reliant. He informed them about schemes initiated by the government for the welfare of the common people.