The former SDF government had introduced the ‘One Family, One Job’ scheme on January 13 this year Credit: File image

Gangtok: Labelling the ‘One Family, One Job’ scheme as a vote-churning move by the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) has supported the circular from the Department of Personnel (DoP) to rectify the scheme and its appointment. The remedy will take place on the lines of the scheme being implemented as a ‘vote-churning’ technique despite the model code of conduct (MCC) being implemented in the state.

The SKM has claimed the scheme to be the brainchild of CM PS Golay and the same was used by the SDF to woo the voters before the 2019 assembly elections.

On January 12 this year, Chamling handed out temporary appointment letters to two beneficiaries from each of the 32 Assembly constituencies in the state as a token gesture to kick start the scheme during Rojgar Mela 2019. Chamling’s SDF government earlier announced that 20,000 youths would immediately be given temporary jobs under the scheme.

Under the scheme, 11,772 appointment orders were issued on the first day itself, with promises of garnering employment to 20,000 needy unemployed youth in every family

Once the formal launch of the programme was over, the officials took over and carried out the job of distributing appointment letters. In all, 11,772 people were issued appointment letters on the first day itself.

The budget allocations had been made for 89 days in the last financial year (2018-19) for paying emoluments to the new recruits, and fresh provisions would be made in the next financial year (2019-20). But the same was not carried out with scores of new appointees claiming they were not given salary till the end of the SDF government recently.

Under its new government, the SKM welcomed the May 31 circular from the DoP, which called for a review of all those appointees who were handed letters under the ‘One Family, One Job’ by the former CM Pawan Kumar Chamling and his SDF government. All the departments have been asked to issue a report on the number and date of appointments of such beneficiaries.

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“Many of the orders for the appointees have been issued at a back date as a poser to the model code of conduct being implemented. It can be clearly labelled as a move to woo the voters just before the elections. Taking advantage of the current government, many new ‘One Family, One Job’ appointees are being handed orders even now. It appears as though many of the orders were withheld by the SDF party candidates and workers, in an aim to see who voted where and accordingly the orders have been issued, if they were in favour of the SDF,” said SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling at a press conference at its party headquarters on Thursday.

The SKM has alleged that many of the orders were issued when the model code of conduct was in effect

Khaling also pointed out that the SKM government has suspended the whole process of appointment under the scheme until there is clarity on the appointment. “Chamling and SDF stole the idea of ‘One Family, One Job’ from the SKM. It was the dream initiative of the current CM PS Golay and the same was used to its benefits by the SDF to woo voters. Now, under the review that is being done by the current SKM government, the benefits will be received by those in need.”

The applicability of OFOJ was that a person would be granted a government job if there was no other government servant in the family of a Sikkimese citizen.

Accusing the SDF of violating the simple rule of distributing jobs to those families and individuals who already have a government servant in the family, SKM has claimed that all such illegal appointment would be rectified and not removed as the rumours have been circulating.

“If the previous SDF government was so devoted to appointing the needy to the government job, then the same move should have been implemented over the course of five years of its governance since 2014. It specifically timed it with the elections and the Janta Melain an aim to convert the same into votes for the SDF. Hence the current stand of OFOJ is very brittle and the legal proceedings against the same will quell the future of many”, said Nawaraj Gurung, SKM general secretary, social media wing.

Many of the appointees have even claimed that they have not got their due salary over the course of last 3 months

SKM also asserted on blaming the SDF government for the vote churning move instead of questioning the SKM government for rectifying the same in a good secure way with regular jobs being at disposal instead of temporary or adhoc appointment.

“The appointment should have been done keeping the future of the people at stake with adequate regularization and pensions being considered. Under the review, the OFOJ appointees will not be under adhoc or temporary basis, but we welcome the review being conducted by the DoP, hence all the departments have been advised to send a review on the appointment”

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