GM Gurung with SDF supremo Pawan Kumar Chamling (R)

GANGTOK: Former Sikkim minister and many times MLA Garjaman Gurung has resigned from Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) after slamming the party of creating conspiracies against the ruling government and blaming the party’s ‘self praising narcissistic’ chief for the downfall of a party of 25 years.

One of the founding members of SDF alongside former chief minister and party president Pawan Kumar Chamling, Gurung has been hinting at differences with the party for some time now.

GM Gurung’s political Profile

  • Founder member, joined SDF in 1993
  • 1994-1999: Tourism Minister
  • 1999-2004: Agriculture Minister
  • 2004-2009: Education and Culture Minister
  • 2009-2014: Advisor of Tourism Department
  • 2014-2019: PWD Minister

GM Gurung, a native of Chuba Parbing in Namchi district, was elected as a legislator in four of the five terms of the SDF government between 1994-2019 and served as a minister for various departments. He lost the 2019 elections from the Temi-Namphing constituency to current Tourism minister Bedu Singh Panth.

In a letter addressed to SDF President Pawan Kumar Chamling, Gurung wrote, “The party lacks democracy. The party, its rules and laws are equivalent to a scarecrow being hung at a field. The party is now represented only by its president and his family. While it used to be collective representation and responsibilities in the party earlier, it is now represented by a small cluster of the party president’s family. and I can guarantee that cluster cannot fight the present and future challenges. When the party has been narrowed down to the family, I don’t see my utility in the party, hence I do not see any other option than resigning from the party.”

Gurung called the SDF president a ‘narcissist’ who overlooked over 30 years of contribution of Gurung and many others.

“For 30 years you tried to portray to the people that the struggle was that of you as an individual. It’s very telling of your self praising narcissistic characteristics where you have only praised yourself for 30 years. It has always been ‘I, me, myself and my struggle’ that you have tried to portray everytime. It was due to your narcissistic characteristics that you are unable to highlight the struggles of others who supported you, of those who were along with you… You neither praised us for our efforts nor there was any gratitude reflected upon your face for us. Your ‘Raavan-like’ arrogance was the reason for SDF’s downfall,” Gurung said in his scathing letter – in Nepali – to Chamling.

Gurung highlighted that despite the party securing 52 percent of the votes in the recent elections, it could not become a responsible opposition as the party could not keep the elected leaders under one roof for a common cause.

“A party that ruled for 25 years could have been the eyes and ears of the people, it was elected equivalently to be in the opposition but it failed. Everyday the party faces an identity crisis and as such it is evident that the party is unable to represent Sikkim and its people in the future… The current party members and supporters are suffocated and struggling within the party,” Gurung rued.

Gurung went on about how a party of 25 years was now facing an identity crisis in three years of being in opposition.

He wrote, “For a ruling party of 25 years to come to this dreaded condition in three years is the worst nightmare of any SDF supporter. We have failed to stay in the opposition and represent the people. Since losing the government, we have been like fish out of water, struggling to survive. We tried to hide our own failure by doing cheap politics against the ruling government…”

Gurung accused the party of infusing arrogance and superiority complex upon its supporters rather than correcting its own mistake. Gurung writes, “Arrogance defines the internal characteristics of the party. The party in the past has worked on creating communal divide among people and infusing dislike amongst people. Hence, I do not find my place in such a party. For the longest time, we have stayed with you overlooking and forgiving many of your crimes, communal division and your arrogant mindset. The call for ‘Saving Sikkim’ seems like the last mission for your old mind to deal with, which I no longer wish to be a part of… It’s a historic regret that such a big party is now run by a family…”

He accused the SDF party of failing to see its own shortcomings and inclining more towards building conspiracies against the people’s elected government. “The party is not trying to see its own shortcomings and they are making no efforts at correcting those shortcomings. It has been only to find the wrongdoings of an elected government, that defines the characteristics of the party which is now visible to the people. To complain against each other, wrongful projection of each other, such activities cannot work in today’s time. To look back on former glory and trying to face the challenges ahead seems futile. The party brought about physical, visible changes in the State, it succeeded in doing so and yet the party was removed from the government, something to ponder upon.”

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