SKM chief PS Golay to contest Sikkim Assembly polls, vows to sweep state in 2019 (File Photo)
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) president Prem Singh Tamang has asserted that his party will "sweep" the upcoming state assembly elections, as people are fed up of the "corrupt" Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) government in the state. Addressing the seventh foundation day function of the SKM at Rangpo last week, Tamang said, "We will sweep the upcoming assembly polls in Sikkim, as the people have become tired of a corrupt government being led by Chief Minister Chamling for more than two decades".
Tamang, popularly known as PS Golay, also hit out at Chamling, his one-time mentor, for "dividing" the society on caste and communal grounds for "vote bank" politics. The SKM chief had to bear with the ignominy of being disqualified from the membership of the Sikkim legislative assembly in 2016, following his conviction for a year in a corruption case.
"I had to serve a year in imprisonment for a crime which I did not commit," he said, referring to the conviction in a cattle distribution scam during his stint as a minister in the Chamling government.
Earlier in the month, Golay also announced his decision to contest the Sikkim Assembly Polls following clarity on the legal position under the People’s Representation Act, 1951. He was disqualified as a member of assembly post his conviction to a year's imprisonment in a corruption case. However, the constituency, where Golay is going to contest from, is yet to be decided.
The ruling SDF and Golay have been at loggerheads, ever since he was denied a ministerial berth by Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling following the SDF’s victory in 2009 assembly polls. Four years later, the four-term MLA had floated the SKM which went on to win 10 seats in 2014 assembly polls.
However, seven of those 10 SKM MLAs subsequently defected to the SDF after Golay himself was found guilty in a corruption case. He was released from jail after serving out the sentence in August last year.
Assembly elections are due to be held in Sikkim in April - May 2019 to elect the 32 members of Legislative Assembly. The term of Sikkim Legislative Assembly is scheduled to end on May 27, 2019.
(With inputs from agencies)