Former Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Chamling, has explained the reasons behind the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party's decision to observe 'Shok Diwas' on its foundation day, instead of celebrating the occasion. In an interview, Chamling stated that the decision was made in solidarity with all true Sikkim lovers who are mourning the unprecedented losses the state has borne under the watch of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) government.
Chamling outlined several catastrophic losses that the state has experienced under the SKM government's rule, which have left the people of Sikkim mourning privately, secretly and individually. Among the losses are the destruction of pro-people governance and the replacement of peace with violence. Chamling also alleged that the SKM government had become more powerful than the state administration, and that youths had to depend on the party for survival, replacing constitutional rights.
Chamling also highlighted the rampant corruption in the state, which he claimed had taken a back seat to the SKM party's picnics, meetings, funfairs, bike rallies, ministers' singing shows, and chief minister's dances. The former Chief Minister also accused the SKM government of selling Sikkimese assets and properties to outsider business people who are close aides of PS Goley, diluting the term "Sikkimese" and appointing non-Sikkimese people in key government positions.
Chamling claimed that the SKM government's implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) had diluted the local protection laws, which would allow over 2 lakh non-Sikkimese people living in Sikkim to gain voting rights. He stated that the Sikkim government could have used the Direct Transfer Benefit Scheme to avoid this influx, but chose CAA instead, thus compromising local protection laws.
Chamling emphasized that the biggest crisis faced by Sikkim today was the change of definition of the term "Sikkimese" after the Supreme Court's recent judgment in the Writ Petition (C) No. 59 of 2013 Association of Old Settlers on 13 January, 2023. All people domiciled in Sikkim have been made equal, which Chamling believes could lead to a drastic change in the state's demography and electorate in a few years.
Chamling concluded that the SDF's decision to observe Shok Diwas instead of celebrating its foundation day was an expression of mourning in solidarity with all Sikkimese people who are suffering under the SKM government's rule. He believes that Sikkim is more important than any political party and that the people of Sikkim deserve better governance.
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