Rolu, Sikkim: Sikkim's main opposition party, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), on Friday ended its three-day long programme marking the 2009 ‘Rolu Picnic’, the day when its founder president PS Golay rebelled against his own party, the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), to form SKM.
The SKM later emerged as the main opposition to the ruling party grabbing 10 seats in the 32-member assembly in the 2014 general elections.
After serving a jail term for a year, Golay received a hero's welcome during his release earlier this year. Since then, he has been actively campaigning against the SDF government in the state.
"We will surely form the government in 2019," said Golay, while addressing the last day of the programme where he pitched his party as a clean alternative to the ruling dispensation. "We don’t have a single penny but lots of supporters," he said.
The former minister and MLA questioned and accused the government on several fronts.
He also questioned the lack of second rung leadership in the ruling party and added that CM Pawan Kumar Chamling thinks that there is no other leader either in position or in opposition.
Charging the CM as the most unsuccessful leader, Golay said Chamling has not yet produced a single leader other than himself. "Those friends who worked with CM Chamling in the initial days of the SDF have all left," he said to a sea of supporters during the programme, which also saw founder member and vice-president of SDF, Mohan Dungmali, joining the SKM.
He also accused the government of copying ideas from his party’s 2014 manifesto including the much-hyped ‘one family, one job’ programme which was passed on Thursday by the assembly.
The ‘one family, one job’ scheme will give 16,000-plus youths temporary jobs in various departments of the state government.
The SKM supremo added that if voted to power the new government will give regular jobs to youths. Further, he stated that the only weapon the ruling party has is money, "which is also people's money", he added.
While the opposition has been rejuvenated after his release from jail, his own electoral fortune hangs in balance due to his conviction and subsequent jail term.
Later, while speaking separately to the media, Golay said that the party is not bothered about who will be the CM candidate. On asked about his electoral fortune due to his conviction and subsequent jail term in a cow distribution case, he added that it was purely in the domain of the Election Commission of India.
With an reinvigorated opposition directly challenging the 25-year-old government, the battle for Sikkim in 2019 is only going to witness more one-upmanship between the two political heavyweights.