Previous Govt had no intention of retaining you, CM to OFOJ appointees“SKM AND BJP IN GOVERNMENT IN

Summit Report

Gangtok, 16 Dec:

Chief Minister PS Tamang today contended that the previous government which rushed the appointment of more than 17,000 youth under the One Family-One Job scheme in an election year in 2019 had no intentions of retaining the services of the appointees after the elections.

Speaking at the Losoong/ Namsoong celebrations at Kewzing in South Sikkim on Wednesday, the CM argued that the SDF Government did not follow due process and did not do anything to ensure that the OFOJ jobs were administratively sound and legally legitimate.

His reference was clearly to the Public Interest Litigation filed in the High Court of Sikkim earlier this week challenging the OFOJ scheme and appointments made under it. [read SummitTimes edition dated 15 Dec, 2020, for details of the case]

The CM, it may be recalled, had referred to the case on Tuesday as well and made similar observations.

In his concluding remarks in today’s address, the CM explained that his party did not oppose the OFOJ appointments in 2019 even though SDF, he alleged, had “stolen” what was originally SKM’s idea.

“We did not oppose the appointments since it was still Sikkimese youth who were getting government employment,” he said.

He added that the SDF Government’s intentions were not honorable since its conduct and lack of follow-up proves that it had only the elections in mind and not the future of the youth.

He claimed that neither were funds set aside for the salaries nor the required paperwork completed to ensure that the appointments held up to a legal challenge, both of which shortcomings are being resolved by his government.

The OFOJ jobs were saved because SKM formed the government last year, he said.

“Sikkim is lucky that SDF did not return to government because it had no intentions to retain the services of these appointees. They would all have been removed under one pretext or the other if they had won the elections. We had however promised regularisation of these services and are still committed to it,” he said, while assuring the youth that the government will defend the case with all its might.

As for the PIL, he alleged that it is being engineered by the former Chief Minister, and just like the appointments were politically motivated in January 2019, so is the challenge to it now, he said.

Clearing up another political query in many people’s minds, the CM put on record that SKM and BJP were together in government in Sikkim.

It is significant that he was speaking as the chief guest in a constituency which had voted the SDF candidate to the legislative assembly in 2019 and who has since switched to BJP. The MLA was also on the stage with the CM today.

The CM explained that SKM was a part of NDA in Parliament right from the start and that its Lok Sabha MP had been invited as an NDA member to a meeting in Delhi shortly after the elections. Now, the two parties were together in Sikkim as well.

“Let there be no confusion on the issue,” he said.