GANGTOK: Former Minister and multi time legislator Garjaman Gurung resigns from Sikkim Democratic Front Party. Gurung who was one of the founding member of SDF alongside former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has for some time hinted at differences between him and the SDF party.
GM Gurung, a native of Chuba Parbing in Namchi district and was elected as a legislator on all five terms of SDF government from 1994 onwards. He has served as a Minister for various departments. He lost the 2019 elections from Temi-Namphing constituency against current Tourism Minister Bedu Singh Panth.
In a letter addressed to SDF President Pawan Kumar Chamling, Gurung writes, “The party lacks in democracy within the party, the rules and laws of the party are equivalent to a scarecrow being hung at a field. As I am seeing, the activities of the party has now been represented only by the party president and no one else. The party and its activities are run solely by the party president’s family. In the past, the party was represented by collective representation and responsibilities, towards which the party was never tired. Now it is represented by a small cluster of party president’s family. That cluster cannot fight the present and future challenges, which I guarantee. When the party has now been narrowed down to the family, I don’t see my utility in the party, hence I do not see any other option other than resigning from the party”.
Gurung has accused SDF president of being narcissist who overlooked over 30 years of contribution of Gurung and many others. He shared, “About 30 years ago, the then government and Chief Minister removed you (Chamling) from both the party and government on grounds of bringing communal divide. In our youth, we supported you and became your backbone. In our pursuit to form a new government, we took the hit for you, got beaten up many times and even went to jail for you. We became your only friend guiding you. It was that kind of struggle that brought SDF government in 1994. That success was not due to the struggle of only one person. That was due to a focussed group of individuals who struggled with the public to bring about success. But for 30 years you tried to portray to the people that the struggle was that of you as an individual, it s exemplary 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 never praised us for our efforts nor the gratitude towards us ever reflected upon your face. The Raavan like arrogance was the reason for SDF’s downfall”.
Gurung highlighted how In the recent election, the party was able to secure 52 percent of the votes and how it could have become a responsible opposition. “But we were unable to do so nor was the party able to 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 in that role. We were unable to deliver to the expectations of the people. Everyday the party is facing an identity crisis and as such it is evident that SDF party is and unable to represent Sikkim and its people in the future. When the party lacks in direction, principles and generation of experience now it is inevitable for the party’s downfall. The current party members and supporters are suffocating and struggling within the party”.
Gurung went on to claim how a party of 25 years is now facing an identity crisis in three years of being in opposition. He writes, “To win and lose in electoral politics is evident, but for a 25 years ruling party to come to this dreaded condition in three years is the worst nightmare for any supporter of SDF party. We have failed to stay in the opposition an represent the people. Since losing the governance, we have been equivalent to a fish that has been brought out of water, struggling to survive. We tried to put a curtain on our own failure since losing the government by doing cheap politics against the ruling government. We are representing a set of people who have lost all hope and are only complaining against the functioning of able government. Realising the same to my soul, i am resigning”.
He accused the party of infusing arrogance and superiority complex upon its supporters rather than correcting it’s own mistake. Gurung writes, “To think those that formed the government or became part of ruling government were no good and that those within the party were superior, the party has been infused with such arrogance. That same arrogance defines the internal characteristics of the party. The party in the past has worked on creating communal divide among people, infusing dislike against each other, 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 your last mission for your old mind to deal with, which I do not wish to be a part of any further”.
He claimed that those within the party were seen with doubt and being acutely run only by the family members of Chamling. He writes, “To question the party on these grounds and to learn from one’s mistake and work towards solution should have been the party’s core principles currently. But even those members of the party who were outside of the elected government were seen with doubt. The family of the party president tried to see other members with doubt. It’s a historic regret that such a big party is now run by a family”.
Gurung went on to allege how the party lacks in transparency and is run by his family now. He writes, “The party lacks in transparency and ever since we lost the last legislative election, the party is everyday turning towards cheating and lying, conspiracies with a small cluster carrying out these activities and representing the party. Through these vicious plannings, the party is trying to defame the people’s elected government of various wrong doings. The party is only trying to cut short the tenure of the elected government and to bring about such conspiracies are the only reason the party has been working”.
He went on to claim how Chamling and SDF party lacks in people centric initiatives any further. He writes, “The environment of debate and discussions is absent within the party, it is only self glorifying of our past success that defines the party. There is nothing new in terms of plans and schemes for the people that we can address to the public. There are zero programmes within the party for the people. In such situation, we have been mere statue representing the SDF party, which I do not find any right to stay with”.
He went on to claim how the party is living with former self filled with regret and remembrance. HD writes, “Since the SDF party was removed from the government, the representation of the party as well as the struggle needed to be brought back to the government is lacking. The President of the party has lost his enthusiasm and is filled with only regret and remembrance of his former self. To cleanse the party to its former glory now seems equivalent to the vague dream of river running upstream. That is how impossible it appears now. Being a political figure and being irrelevant currently, I find no reason to stay in the party hence I am resigning”.
He accused the SDF party of failing to see its own shortcomings and inclining more towards building conspiracies against the people’s elected government. He writes, “The party is not trying to see its own shortcomings and they are making no efforts at correcting those shortcomings. There are no efforts at rectifying their own mistakes and moving forward. It has been only to find the wrong doings 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”