Gangtok, 20 Jun:
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today invoked his own poor family background to connect with the poor and middle class during his ongoing Jan Sewa-Jan Samman Yatra at Pakyong, under Nathang-Machong constituency, in East Sikkim.
“No one looks after the poor but I can empathise with being born in a poor, humble family,” said the CM.
He reiterated that the poor realised that even their votes can form a good government for Sikkim only after voting Sikkim Democratic Front to power in 1994. He alleged that all previous governments were dominated by the rich and feudal class which always deprived the poor.
“Ours is pro-poor, pro-environment, pro-sustainable development, all inclusive, secular, humanitarian and above all pro-Sikkim government,” he added.
Adding further, the CM said that those who reaped benefits in his 24 years of government and “have built massive homes, bigger than the Sikkim palace” are now unhappy.
He also appealed to the youth to take charge of their destiny and urged them to work hard in order to reap all the benefits the State now offers.
Cautioning those applying for loans, the CM said that these loans are credited by banks and loans cannot be waived by the State Government.
The CM also appealed to contractors to make good and strong homes for the public in accordance with the rules of law so that each Sikkimese gets a home they deserve.
Highlighting the area’s Greenfield Airport project, the CM stated that the State Government now awaits Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval for the opening which is slated to make Pakyong a national and international destination.
He also asked locals to make use of the opportunity that the airport will now offer rather than focusing on jobs at the airport which is not under the State Government but under Airports Authority of India.
Addressing the Nepali upper caste communities of Bahun, Chettri and Newar directly, the CM stated that in spite of the Central Government denying them the OBC status, the State Government in 2003 made the three communities OBC under the State list so that the Sikkimese of these three communities always share equal rights with other communities who have been granted BL, ST, SC and OBC [Central list] status.
The CM added that such social justice policy is meant to give equal rights and opportunities to all sections of Sikkimese people.
Addressing the Scheduled Caste community, he requested them to come forward and actively take part in the developmental journey of the State.
“Scheduled Castes have left their traditional jobs due to the society not respecting them and the prevailing varna system,” he said.
Adding further, he said that these communities were skilled and knowledgeable and today’s world requires such people’s contributions.
The CM then announced that his government is ready to provide assistance to those interested in pursuing higher studies like diploma or masters in cutting/tailoring.
“Dignity of work should be upheld by all,” he expressed.
Strongly advising bureaucrats and politicians to avoid being “protocol conscious” and “post conscious”, he asked them to be “duty conscious” and provide service to citizens diligently.
Comparing his government with the opposition, the CM held that his government has “Sikkimised” the State with democracy and development while the opposition has polarised the state on outdated caste, religion and communal lines.
Strongly countering the charges of him running a dictatorial government, the CM said that the opposition and sections of media have also spoken out against him and his government irresponsibly and the ability to say that Chamling is a dictator is in fact testimony to the flourishing democracy in the State.
“It’s we who have democratised the Sikkimese society,” added the CM.
Countering allegations of bad roads in Sikkim, the CM said that it is under his tenure that Sikkim has witnessed such a record construction of roads along with various added works like widening.