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P S Golay sworn in as Sikkim CM; announces 5-day working week for govt. employees

By PTI Updated: May 28, 2019 12:17 am
Governor Ganga Prasad administers the oath to Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) President Prem Singh Tamang as the new Chief Minister of Sikkim during a swearing-in-ceremony, at Paljor Stadium, in Gangtok on Monday. (PTI)

Gangtok, May 27 (PTI):
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) president Prem Singh Tamang, popularly known as P S Golay, on Monday took oath as the chief minister of Sikkim.

Eleven SKM MLAs were also administered the oath by Governor Ganga Prasad at Paljor Stadium here.

Golay, who is not a member of the state assembly at present as he did not contest the polls, was elected as the SKM Legislature Party leader on Saturday.

Former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and senior Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) leaders were conspicuous by their absence at the swearing-in.

The 11 SKM leaders who took the oath as ministers are Kunga Nima Lepcha, Sonam Lama, Bedu Singh Panth, Dr Mani Kumar Sharma, Arun Kumar Upreti, Sandup Lepcha, Lok Nath Sharma, Mingma Norbu Sherpa, Karma Loday Bhutia, Bhim Hang Limboo and Sanjit Kharel.

Though a total of three women, including one SKM candidate, won the polls, the Golay ministry has no woman representative.

Sikkim can have a maximum of 12 ministers, including the chief minister.

Meanwhile, the wewly-appointed chief minister announced a five-day working week for state government employees.

After taking charge of the office at Tashiling state secretariat, he also held a meeting with top government officials.

Talking to reporters after interacting with senior officials, Golay said there will be five-day working week for the government employees in Sikkim.

“We have fulfilled one of our election promises to reduce the working week for government employees from six days earlier to five days,” he said.

The government employees will get an additional day as holiday which they will use to take care of their health and that of their parents and family members, he said.

The chief minister also announced his ministers and MLAs, including himself, will use Scorpio vehicles instead of Fortuner SUVs which were being used by the elected representatives earlier.

“For the time being we have no option but to use Fortuner SUVs, but we will use Scorpio vehicles once they are made available to us,” Golay said.

The SKM supremo had earlier accused the SDF government headed by his predecessor P K Chamling for “misusing public money”.

Golay said the money saved on using less expensive vehicles like Scorpio will be used for betterment of the people of Sikkim.

In the introductory meeting with chief secretary, additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries and heads of department, the chief minister sought their cooperation and asked them to work collectively for the betterment of the state and its people.

He urged the entire government machinery to act as one family and support each other at every point of governance.

Golay said “good governance” initiated by the previous government will be continued and that the electoral fight against his predecessor Pawan Kumar Chamling was based solely on ideology, adding his government will always seek the latter’s advice for running the affairs of the state.

He also instructed the chief secretary, director general of police (DGP) and officials concerned to aintain law and order, and take necessary action irrespective of party affiliations of the accused.

Earlier in the day, the 51-year-old SKM supremo was sworn in as the sixth Sikkim chief minister along with 11 ministers by the governor at a function at Paljor stadium.

The SKM, founded in 2013, won a slender majority in the 32-member Sikkim Legislative Assembly by bagging 17 seats against 15 won by the SDF.

The Chamling government was ousted by the SKM after over 24 years rule.

Dalai Lama congratulates Goyal on poll win

Dharamsala, May 27 (IANS): Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Monday congratulated Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on his party’s historic win in the recent Assembly election.

“A great responsibility now lies ahead of you and I trust that under your leadership the people of Sikkim will see prosperity and progress. I particularly hope that you will strive to improve the lives of the less privileged people in the state,” the Dalai Lama wrote in a letter to Tamang.

“During my visits to Sikkim over the years, the people of Sikkim have shown me affection and warm hospitality, which I very much appreciated. The kindness and enthusiasm with which I have been received vividly reminded me of the strong emotions I felt during my first visit in 1956.”

The Tibetan spiritual leader acknowledged that last month marked the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan people’s life in exile in India.

Noting that there is a sizable Tibetan community residing in Sikkim, he took the opportunity to express deep appreciation for the warm and friendly way in which Tibetans have been received.

Tamang’s Sikkim Krantikari Morcha won an absolute majority in the Sikkim Assembly polls, ending the 25-year reign of former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and his Sikkim Democractic Front in the Himalayan state.

On Sunday, the Dalai Lama had greeted Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on their parties’ victories in the Assembly elections in their states.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India after a failed uprising against Chinese Communist rule in 1959.

By PTI Updated: May 28, 2019 12:17:29 am