GANGTOK: Former chief minister and president of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party Pawan Chamling has come down strongly on the alleged poor implementation of partial and complete lockdown in the State. He has also slammed the present chief minister and the Sikkim Krantikari Mancha (SKM) party for "reckless" behavior leading to a rise in cases.
Condemning Chief Minister PS Tamang’s "poor example and reckless conducts during the lockdown for organizing public gatherings one after the other," he accused the SKM party workers and Minister Sanjit Kharel of making a mockery of the lockdown by breaching protocols.
"This lockdown has been one of the worst in the world. Ironically, Sikkim achieved a rare feat of becoming the "only red zone in India" in the middle of the lockdown. That is a new Covid World Record. What does it show? It simply shows that the government has no idea about what a lockdown is and how it should be managed," he told media.
"In Namthang-Rateypani constituency, MLA Shri Sanjit Kharel so defiantly distributed cows and pigs to locals during the lockdown. Two of the beneficiaries tested positive after the program. It is obvious many got infected there and spread the infection in their villages. That’s how irresponsible this government is," he added.
He further accused the "irresponsible" and "reckless" SKM party workers are conducting meetings and gifting coronavirus to the innocent people who are forced to attend their meetings. This is happening across the state.
A lot of public gatherings are taking place under the guardianship of the SKM party. Unfortunately, in Temi Tarku, a young woman fell victim to such gathering in her house who eventually died of Covid-19. Numerous villages in that area of Temi Tarku have contracted the virus in that public gathering.
Chief Minister Shri PS Tamang himself has been roaming in public with crowds around him every day. It is very unfair to sincere law abiding citizens who are staying at home being confined to the four walls continuously while those having connections with leaders are freely moving about and spreading infection.
"The complete lockdown is a method of ensuring a complete breakage of person to person link. What is the logic behind the daily opening of shops in the morning from 8-12? Does the Covid-19 virus remain dormant during these hours? Where is the proof that a lot of infections are not happening during these hours. It is the duty of the government to ensure door-to-door delivery of essential commodities. In a small state like Sikkim, it is absolutely possible," he added.
"It is the people’s responsibility to cooperate with the government - which they have been doing - hoping that the government would fight this battle effectively and efficiently. But the government is failing to curb the infection again and again. The government is happy to lock people in and they are freely doing their day-to-day work normally. This is gross injustice and a shameless attitude," he said.
He took further potshots at his successor PS Tamang for laying a foundation stone of a 300 bedded hospital at the Veterinary playground in Singhithang.
"I have a serious suspicion that he doesn’t know the meaning and purpose of a lockdown. He could have either waited for the lockdown to be lifted or he could have laid the foundation stone through a virtual program. He is busily organising public programs and intensifying the spread of Covid-19. From Dandi March to now, he has been persistently showing blatant defiance against Covid protocols," he said.
"I urge the government to make Sikkim-specific protocols, effective strategies and implement them efficiently. I also appeal to the people to demand better management of the Covid pandemic. Sikkim cannot suffer any more loss,” he added.
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