Party goes on counter-offensive, says govt is looking into corruption allegations against former CM
Gangtok, 06 Jun:
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party spokesperson, Jacob Khaling, has challenged Sikkim Democratic Front president, former CM Pawan Chamling, to try his best to remove SKM president, PS Tamang [Golay] from the post of the Chief Minister. He remains convinced that Mr Tamang’s appointment as CM was constitutionally sound and today alleged that the SDF was planning to use “money power” to have Mr Tamang removed.
Also, in a clear indication of a tit-for-tat, Mr Khaling also announced today that the SKM Government will now begin looking into allegations of corruption against Mr Chamling.
The SKM response comes in the wake of media reports that Mr Chamling was in New Delhi to pursue legal options to challenge Mr Tamang’s appointment as the Chief Minister of Sikkim.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Khaling alleged that Mr Chamling flexing money-power in Delhi to have Mr Tamang removed. Mr Tamang alleged that SDF was resorting to this “after having failed” to stop Mr Tamang from becoming the CM “legally and constitutionally.”
He stated that Mr Tamang became the CM fulfilling two parameters – first, getting the mandate of the people of Sikkim and then getting the permission from the Governor who evaluated all constitutional and legal aspects.
Mr Khaling also let on that the SKM was going on the counter-offensive now.
“We have won our first battle with the recent election and now we will take up the next challenge of taking account of the people’s money and how it was pilfered in Sikkim and punish all involved in corruption. The government has already started the process of collecting details on all corrupt actions of the former CM,” he said.
Mr Khaling also alleged today that despite being a long-serving legislator, Mr Chamling violated the decorum and dignity of the Legislative Assembly on the opening day.
He explained that the first session of the 10th Sikkim Legislative Assembly was for the oath taking ceremony of the newly elected legislators and election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker and had no other agenda for discussion.
Despite knowing this, the opposition leader displayed indiscipline and arrogance by trying to break tradition and precedence by taking up a political issue and ignoring the Speaker’s directions to maintain discipline and not speak out of turn.
Mr Khaling also painted the incident in cateist colour asking aloud whether the former CM’s reaction was triggered by the caste of the Speaker.
On the confusion surrounding the State Government’s position on the One Family One Job scheme, Mr Khaling stated that the government has started the scrutiny process to regularise OFOJ employees. He stated that as many appointments under this scheme had been back-dated while the model code of conduct was in place. The appointments and joining made during the model code of conduct have been withheld and cancelled to give justice to the genuine beneficiaries, he argued.
He said that after scrutiny and other processes, all genuine beneficiaries will get jobs under this scheme.
Further on OFOJ, SKM general secretary [social media], Navraj Gurung, stated that OFOJ was the brainchild of the SKM president and had been included even in the 2014 election manifesto of the party. He alleged that SDF hijacked this scheme and implemented it unethically just before this election. He further alleged that the earlier government implemented the scheme without proper processes and without any resource for employees under this scheme.
“Now, the SDF is spreading rumours on OFOJ scheme and conspiring to create unrest in the State,” he alleged.
He stated that SKM government was not removing anyone from the job but revising the scheme to create permanent resource and legal backing for these appointments.
Mr Gurung also refuted all allegations that he hurled insults at MR Chamling from the visitors’ gallery of the Legislative Assembly.
The SKM spokesperson Mr Khaling also claimed that SKM was not involved in any violence in the State.
On the former CM’s heckling in the Assembly, Mr Khaling stated that the Speaker has constituted a committee to look into the matter and if the report reveals the involvement of any SKM worker, then the party will also take action.