Gangtok, 26 May:
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, currently officiating as the caretaker CM until the new CM and his Ministers are sworn in on Monday, left his official residence for the past 25 years, Mintokgang, for his home at Ghurpishey in Namchi. His farewell was an emotion event with supporters and well-wishers arriving in large numbers to send him off. There were many teary eyes and also much sobbing and crying as people poured out their emotions on his departure.
Mr Chamling however put up a lighter demeanor, comforting his well-wishers and reiterating that he welcomed the new role shouldered on him by the people of Sikkim. He smiled and joked and assured the people he would continue to remain connected with them and work for them.
“I respect the mandate of the people and wholeheartedly accept the election results. People have given the victory to SKM and handed over the government to them. I congratulate the leader of SKM and his MLAs on forming the government. I also congratulate the people of Sikkim for electing their government as per democratic norms,” he said while speaking to media-persons outside Mintokgang today.
He further stressed that it was important to bear in mind that the “people of Sikkim have not rejected the SDF but only changed its role.”
“The Sikkimese had given us the responsibility to run the government for 25 years and in this election they decided to give us the responsibility of an opposition party. We will fulfill our responsibility in an honest manner… this we promise the people of Sikkim,” he said.
When asked where he would be based – Namchi or Gangtok, Mr Chamling informed that he would be mostly working out of Gangtok and will be travelling frequently to Namchi and Gyalshing.
“My headquarters will be in Sikkim,” he quipped, adding, “I will reach out to every person in Sikkim. I want to set up my headquarters in their mind.”
After receiving a guard of honour from the Sikkim Police, the CM left Mintokgang. His motorcade was joined by SDF party workers and supporters who raised slogans in his support all along the route.