“My absence in the assembly was to register my vehement disgust against SKM’s undemocratic functioning”: Pawan Chamling

Press Release
Former Chief Minister and the President of the SDF party Pawan Chamling said that the SKM government is making mockery of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. There is no democracy in the House and it is robbed of its dignity and sanctity. It is shame that no action has been taken against the goons who used unparliamentary words to abuse him from the gallery of the House almost three years. The Speaker has failed to create an unbiased atmosphere in the house. He said that the CM and the Ministers have only spoken lies in the house and failed to give truthful answers. He said he will attend the Assembly from the next budget session and tell the people the truths that have been suppressed by the SKM government.

“Q. The 10th Assembly session was held. Your absence once again disappointed your supporters. People would like to know your stance and your observation.

Ans: Never in the history of modern democracy in Sikkim was the legislative assembly so brutally abused and democracy so cruelly murdered. The sanctity of the Legislative Assembly is the cornerstone of democracy and how we function in the assembly is the centerpiece of our democracy. The legislative assembly is the centre of people’s aspirations where they send their representatives with faith, hope and a huge respect for democracy. However, I record with the deepest anguish and most intense resentment that what is happening in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly right now is the ugliest example of what could ever be displayed.

The Speaker is the custodian of the sanctity of the the House and he has the highly exalted responsibility of creating and maintaining an unbiased, befitting and dignified atmosphere in the House. But the atmosphere in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly is just the opposite.  In my nearly 37 years of a political journey as a public representative, in my 8th tenure, I felt that there was an undeclared emergency in the house where my right to speak was snatched. During my two visits in the past,  the entire treasury bench, like a pack of violent beasts, swooped in on me in a desperate attempt to heckle me.

They looked like individuals possessed by some strange spirit of anger, hatred and enmity. To my utter shock, the Speaker and the Chief Minister watched the whole circus like amused spectators. None of them made a single attempt to quieten the treasury bench so that I could speak. That is how this assembly has been functioning. People have seen how in my first visit, the SKM sponsored goons used abusive words towards me calling me, “Chor, Chor, you have no right to speak” from the gallery. When Chief Minister Tamang was asked about it, he shamelessly said, “Tyo Malai Thaha Bhaena” (I have no idea about it). Who were they? How did they enter the gallery? What investigation was undertaken? What action has been taken? After nearly three years, nothing has happened. It simply proves that the Assembly, which is the temple of democracy, has become a den of goons.

I am fully aware that the people of Sikkim expect me to attend the assembly. I waited for those in the legislative assembly to learn to speak truthfully and responsibly. But they failed me. Even today, all they do is blame the previous government. They seem unaware of the fact that they are in the government and their job is to function as a responsible government and not talk like a propagandist opposition party. Enough is enough. I will wait no longer. I will go to the assembly from the next budget session and tell them to grow up and work as a government. I will tell the people who secured the Scheduled Tribes status for the LT communities and what hindered the reservation of their seat in the Assembly.

I will tell them who lobbied for the grant for permission for the Karmapa to enter Sikkim and who created an obstacle for him enter even after so much time has passed since the permission was granted.
My absence in the assembly was to register my vehement disgust against their undemocratic functioning. They didn’t even allow the media to enter so that they could hide their undemocratic way of functioning. I have done my part to express the stance of the SDF party on such an unconstitutional incident that took place in Sikkim. I hope the Sikkimese intellectuals and society in general will not remain a mute spectator forever.

The consequences are there for all of us to see. All that is there in Sikkim is anarchy. A lying culture has been introduced in the Assembly. The CM and his Cabinet Ministers competed against each other in giving misguiding and blatantly false answers. They heaped lies upon lies in the name of answers to the question of the LT seats and the Karmapa’s visit to Sikkim. This is an utter humiliation of the Sikkimese people. It is a lowering of our standard. It is effacing our image. The Assembly is no longer a place to seek and advocate for the truth, provide justice to the people and preserve the  people’s rights and dignity.

I appeal to Sikkimese society to think over these unfortunate realities. In future, when researchers will read those records kept in the SLA, they will find it difficult to believe that such things happened in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. This saddens me and it should sadden every lover of democracy and Sikkim.”

Krishna Kharel
Vice-President, Press and Publicity 


SC Desk

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