Gangtok: Citizen Action Party (CAP) has elected Laxmi Prasad Kafley as its first president. Kafley, who was serving as chairman of Sikkim State Cooperative Union, resigned on May 31, a day prior to being elected.
The newly elected president joined CAP on Thursday at Rangpo where the party inaugurated its district level office for Pakyong district.
Born in Gerethang’s Yuksom-Tashiding constituency, Kafley is one of the founders of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party. He served as the Gerethang Ward Panchayat from 1997 to 2012 during which he received the National Panchayat Award. He was also involved in working for the Zilla Panchayat of West district from 2012 to 2017. When SDF lost the 2019 general elections, he resigned from the party.
Since January 2019, he was also the chairman of Sikkim State Cooperative Union and was even a part of the Reform Call pressure group that started under the leadership of former SDF leader Ganesh Rai.
Earlier this year CAP declared Ganesh Rai as its chief coordinator on January 26, and former BJP president DB Chauhan as its working president in May.
Stressing on the motive for joining politics again, Kafley addressed CAP supporters and said that it is for the people and not for any personal gain.
“The problem in Sikkim’s governance is if one person becomes the chief minister, he himself is the president of the party, he is the finance and department of personnel minister,” he said, adding that such a scenario makes people too fearful to oppose. “Even the sitting MLAs and Ministers are wary of voicing the concerns for fear that they may not get party ticket in elections. We wish to change that with CAP,” he said.
While laying emphasis on how CAP is different from Sikkim Krantikari Morcha and Sikkim Democratic Front, Kafley shared, “They can’t even appoint a working president in the party but CAP has 11 working presidents, an example of collective leadership.” He added that CAP’s council of advisors include experts in different fields.
The new CAP president also explained how CAP is planning to use the government almanac instead of issuing promotional calendars, unlike other parties. He said that the CAP will ensure that official work projects will not use party banners and flags to advertise the party. He further said that leaders should be known for their work and not for the images on their promotional calendars and banners.
Highlighting the need for proper functioning of gram panchayats and criticising other parties for their disorganised governance, he stated that CAP will employ volunteers who will recommend the panchayats about welfare work needed to be done for public good.
The party president also revealed that crowd-funding instead of monetary aid from businessmen would be preferred as an option for financial support. He explained, “Even for the smallest of work in the state currently, there is demand for 14 percent commission for the party. We wish to change such practises.”
Ganesh Rai and DB Chauhan also addressed the gathering and explained various shortcomings of the government while presenting their ‘reformative solutions’ for the Sikkim.
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Rai alleged that the state government used its power to sabotage CAP’s functioning in various ways.
While thanking Sikkim police for their support, Rai lauded them for allowing the party to use a microphone during the event in the vicinity of a school. “This is the kind of change we expect from the administration,” he said.
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