Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 10:30 [IST]
Last Update: Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 04:55 [IST]
GANGTOK,: Former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, on a sarcastic note, has said the SKM government has “delivered” on the Parivartan promise with Sikkim witnessing a series of changes.
I have been seeing a ground-breaking ‘Parivartan’ under the SKM government from day one, said the SDF president in a Monday press release while listing the “changes” that have taken place under the new regime.
“Sikkim now has a “Chief Minister’s Team” over and above the cabinet that will ensure that no one underestimates the CM. There are teams for all purposes - burning effigies, threatening and assaulting vocal citizens, silencing their own vocal party cadres, conducting press conferences to abuse the opposition, etc.
Apart from that, the government is now run by a handful of bureaucrats as per their whims and fancies. The CM, ministers and advisors are dancing to their tune like puppets. Is this not ‘parivartan’?,” asked Chamling.
Chamling accused the SKM government of having a ‘divide and rule’ character. “The government is run through press conferences. In order to justify the government’s highhandedness and quell the people’s cry for justice, the government uses unions to conduct counter-press conferences. We strove for a united Sikkim. They divide and rule. Is that not ‘parivartan’?,” he said.
“Students have lost their right to an education. Teachers have had to sit for dharna just for an emergency job extension. Taxi drivers have had to find alternative jobs. Many drivers are working as porters. Sikkim experienced massive revenue generation through the fining of drivers and increasing vehicle taxes. Compare that to our CMSS under which hundreds of youth in Sikkim got luxury taxis. Is that not ‘parivartan’?”
The former Chief Minister mentioned that during his government, education was free and for all. Now students have been expelled for wanting to meet the HRDD Minister, he said.
Chamling added that there has been a gradual dilution of Sikkim’s global image of organic farming, cleanliness, green economy and peace.
“Just two years ago, Sikkim’s organic success was being talked about globally. Sikkim won the Future Policy Gold Award- the biggest award in policy. No one is talking about organic Sikkim now. Sikkim is now witnessing a massive cutting down of trees and the timber is being supplied beyond Teesta. People have been raising concerns about the declining image of Sikkim police now. Does no one see this ‘parivartan’?”
“When the Chief Ministers of other States go out of their States on official tour, they feel proud. Things have come to such a pass that every time our present Chief Minister goes outside of Sikkim, there is fear, insecurity and suspicion among the people. What a ‘parivartan’,” said Chamling. He added that Sikkim has now grabbed the national media attention in human trafficking, smuggling of hard drugs and the worst Covid management in the country.
The SDF president mentioned that despite the pandemic, Sikkim recorded the highest number of protests against the government in the last two years. “The number of protests during two years under the SKM government is far more than the total number of protests under our 25 years of governance. This is one area where the SKM government has beaten the SDF government. I admit our defeat here,” he said.
Chamling said the “biggest change in Sikkim” was that the rule of law has been replaced with the “rule of lies”.
“Their election manifesto has been a compilation of lies, lies and more lies. We respected our election manifesto as a sacred book of the people’s trust. They consider it a playbook to fool innocent people. We can look at our five election manifestos with a deep sense of pride and satisfaction. They must look at their book with shamelessness and cruelty towards the people’s aspirations. To me that had been one of the biggest ‘parivartans’,” said Chamling.
“For the people who say that the SKM party failed to bring about parivartan, I have a simple explanation. There is a vast difference between ‘the parivartan the SKM leaders wanted” and “the parivartan you, the innocent people wanted,” said Chamling.
“You must accept that the SKM party brought about the parivartan they wanted. They changed Sikkim as per their desire and blueprint. If you want to see the ‘parivartan that you desired’, then you have to look at the pages of the SKM party’s election manifesto - that is the only place it can be found,” said Chamling.