Prem Singh Golay, a long time Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) dissident MLA famous in Sikkim as PS Golay, has given a final blow to the ruling party of Sikkim and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling by revolting finally.
Gloay has been using every opportunity to launch his tirade against the writ of SDF and Pawan Chamling and has been gradually sapping the ruling party off its strength. In March this year Golay quit the post of Chairman, Commerce and Industries Department.
On July 29 this year, four Central Executive Committee (CEC) members of SDF joined Golay. They blamed the SDF Party of never accepting its mistake and never seeking any advices from the party member. The SDF was also blamed of favoritism in Government job and rampant corruption.
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has been facing corruption charge so he issued a gazette notification and stopped CBI Inquiry in the state to be carried out as he wanted to save his chair.
Interestingly Golay is using the democracy issue to launch a similar political maneuver against CM Chalming Pawan Chamling as Chamling had launched to dethrone the then chief minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari
Chamling on September 9, 1992, then a rebel Sikkim Sangram Parishad MLA, had searched for democracy in the State Assembly during the zero hour with a lit candle. Soon he floated the SDF on March 4, 1993. SDF first came to power in Sikkim after winning the assembly elections in 1994.
This time the opportunity came in the form of the non-political anti-corruption rally in support of Anna Hazare through the streets of the Sikkim Capital Gangtok on Wednesday by Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Sangathan (NASS). Golay put all his weight in the rally to condemn the Sikkim Prevention and Control of Disturbance of Public Order Bill which was termed a ‘Black Bill’ by the opposition. Golay made a public appeal asking one and all to support the rally from Deorali to Palzor stadium, Gangtok. Though he himself did not take part in the rally, it was no secret.
The Chamling government had to withdraw the black bill due to strong resistance from the opposition parties, apolitical organisations and an advisory from the Governor, it has come under regular attack for planning introducing such a bill.
The proposed bill contained a section which read “Holding of procession, hunger strike or squatting or shouting of slogans or waving black flags or other such agitation methods, tendency or potentiality of promoting enmity or hatred or disaffection between groups or sections or communities on grounds of religion, race or caste shall be deemed to be disturbance of public order” and is punishable by imprisonment of five years and a fine of Rs. 50,000.The bill was introduced on August 11 and had to be withdrawn on August 16.
Talking to HT, Golay stated that he opposes the “Black Bill” and the undemocratic ways of the SDF party. “Because I belong to the SDF does not mean that I will start calling black as white. Black will always remain black. The Black Bill intends to rob the Sikkim citizens of their Fundamental Rights hence it is unconstitutional.” retorted Golay.
Referring to Chamling’s quest for “democracy” with a candle, Golay questioned “That has become history. Chamling himself is leaving no stones unturned to erase that part of history. Where is democracy in Sikkim?”
Golay alleged that the people of Sikkim were fed up with the undemocratic stifling environment. “They want to come out in the streets and protest. Today’s rally is just the beginning” feels Golay.
When questioned as to whether he is ready to break out from the SDF and float his own party, the dissident leader stated “If the public want me to lead, I am ready.”
Reacting to the allegations PD Rai, SDF Member of Parliament and Spokesperson talking to HT stated “These are baseless allegations. A party does not turn undemocratic overnight. Golay has been an MLA four times and a Minister three times. For him to suddenly say that SDF is undemocratic is very unfortunate. As the people dubbed the Bill draconian, the Government decided to withdraw it. Isn’t this democracy?” Rai said that as he is in Delhi at present he would not be able to immediately state if the SDF would initiate any action against Golay for his comments.
Golay has been an SDF MLA for four terms (1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009,) since SDF’s inception. However with difference cropping up between him and Chamling, he has been allegedly sidelined. On the other hand Golay has been avoiding Assembly sessions along with all SDF party programmes.
After winning thrice from his constituency Soreng in West Sikkim his was changed to a new constituency Upper Burtuk in East Sikkim. His wings were further clipped with his removal from the cabinet after his victory in the 2009 State Assembly elections from Upper Burtuk. Prior to this he had served as a Minister for three terms.
(With inputs from the Hindustan Times)