Gangtok, 22 Sept:
Sikkim Democratic Front president, former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, turned 70 today with a celebration which provided his party supporters to turn up in large numbers at his residence next to the SDF Bhawan here on Indira Bypass to wish him and also mark “Garibi Unmulan Diwas” that the party has traditionally observed on this day over the years.
A regular stream of well-wishers and supporters started arriving at his residence from across the State today and SDF registered a rather strong turnout after a rather extended period of keeping a low profile.
Speaking to media-persons this morning, Mr Chamling, thanked each and everyone for the birthday wishes sent to him through various media and in person.
He has also thanked the people of Sikkim for reposing faith in him and his leadership and allowing him the opportunity to serve the people for almost 25 years as Chief Minister.
“I am not a Chief Minister anymore but have not stopped serving and working for the people of Sikkim. I am working for the people of Sikkim in many other ways. I will never hesitate to speak for the betterment of the people of Sikkim,” he said.
Mr Chamling refused to make any political statements today and the closest he got was to remind the people that his government ensured peace and safety to all people here.
He did however assure the people that SDF still operated on the principles and objectives on which it was founded in the year 1993 and urged the people to have faith in the party.
Meanwhile, the party celebrated Gareeb Unmulan Diwas in grand manner at SDF Bhawan.
An SDF press release issued by the party spokesperson, JB Darnal, informs that the SDF president underlined that the programme was not political on but it a social engagement and thanked his parents, his family, party workers and colleagues.
He called on party workers to continue advocating for the people of Sikkim and remain strong and firm with the party.
He reminded them that SDF might have lost the elections, but has not lost its politics or principles and stressed that these qualities will sustain the party.
He stressed that the party was not formed to make Ministers and MLAs but to work for the underprivileged and the under-represented called on party workers to respect that the people of Sikkim have brought a new government in Sikkim through a democratic process and hence it was their duty to appreciate the good works and protest the wrongs.
On the initial months of the SKM Government, Mr Chamling remarked that SKM failed to fulfill its promises and said that the people should protest if the party misleads or lies to them.
He claimed that SDF ran a good government and rued that the present dispensation has no work culture. He further contended that people-centric works of Rs 5,000 crores sanctioned by the SDF government before the elections were presently well in progress and that the SKM government has been taking credit for these works.
Mr Chamling also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been doing unprecedented work and that if the people here suffered any injustice, it would be brought to the PM’s notice.
Reminding party workers of SDF’s commitment to “Pavitra Kranti,” he said that the people have provided the party with the opportunity to make the party further stronger in the next five years and advised party workers to make good use of this opportunity and time.
The release informs that the senior vice-president and North District in-charge, DB Thapa, presented the welcome address while students of the first batch of the Chief Minister’s Meritorious Scholarship Scheme expressed gratitude towards Mr Chamling for providing them the opportunity to study at the best schools.
The programme has included a cultural performance and it was also addressed by general secretary [organisation], LM Bhattarai, with the vote of thanks proposed by west district vice-president, SP Kafley. The programme was conducted by secretary [organisation] Amos R Lepcha.