Chamling attends Assembly under protest, wants portions of CM's address expunged for violating rules

Summit Report

Gangtok, 31 Mar:

Sikkim Democratic Front's lone legislator in the Assembly, the party's president, former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, today put on record in the floor of the Assembly that he was attending the budget session under protest.

An SDF press release states that since the seven minutes allotted to Mr Chamling to comment on the Governor's address were disrupted by Ministers Arun Upreti and Sonam Lama and the Chief Minister himself, the party felt it necessary to detail the former CM's statement through a press release.

Mr Chamling is attending the session in protest to register his disquiet with no action having been taken on the incident when he was heckled in the Assembly by some people in the visitors' gallery in 2019.

Despite there being clears rules on Maintenance of Order in the Legislative Assembly with the Speaker clearly required to preserve order, no action has been taken nearly three years since the incident.

Mr Chamling has reiterated that his submission seeking action be recorded and justice be given to preserve the sanctity and dignity of the House.

He has also sought that parts of the budget speech delivered by the Chief Minister be expunged because of what he sees as personal remarks made against him and his family in unparliamentary language. He points out that such references were against the Rules of Procedure and hence need to be expunged by the Speaker.

The SDF press release adds that since Mr Chamling was not allotted enough time - three minutes as per the press release - the party was detailing his and the party's stand in a detailed press release.

The release claims that while the previous SDF Government maintained fiscal deficit within parameters prescribed under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act [FRBM Act], the present government has overshot these and led to a situation which will see inflation and price rise.

" Compliance reports on the FRBM Act has not been updated from 2019 onwards. What are the reasons? The fiscal deficit has climbed to over 6 percent. When will the Government bring this down," the release asks.

The party adds that the SKM Government lacks vision and pathways and appears content to do whatever the Centre wants. As a result, Sikkim was losing much of its flexibility which allowed the State to carve its own path.

The party also rues that no survey has been carried out to find out the actual situation on ground about post-Covid poverty among the people. Nothing concrete has been shared about the findings or recommendations of the Sikkim Economic Revival Committee task force, the release adds.