Sikkim : Key Opposition Party Witnesses Major Setback; Over 40 Leaders Resign


  • Sujal Pradhan, NET Correspondent, Sikkim 

In a major political development, the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) Vice-President, Ganesh Rai  along with former SDF Minister & Deputy Speaker Sonam Gyatso Chamling, Dawcho Lepcha and other leaders today resigned from the party.

Addressing a press conference today, Ganesh & the team informed about the same, and announced the formation of a new party by this year.

Altogether, 42 members of SDF Party, incorporating of – Ganesh Rai, Dawcho Lepcha, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, Moses Rai and other leaders have resigned from primary membership and various posts of the party.

However, SDF informed only 7 resignation have been accepted as many have already resigned earlier.

Its worthy to note that Ganesh Rai served as the Vice President of SDF Party; Panchayat President and Government of Sikkim chairman in the past. Sonam Gyatso Lepcha served as the former legislator in the past and also the former Deputy Speaker of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.

Meanwhile, Dawcho Lepcha is the former Minister in the Government of Sikkim and Moses Rai was the SDF candidate of Poklok Kamrang Constituency in the 2019 Bye Election. And various other SDF members have also resigned from the Party.

Responding to a question on what will be the Moolmantra of new party, Ganesh asserted “we will inform once the party is formed.” It will supposedly happen within 2022 but the month has not been disclosed.

“In last one year, we have met more than one lakh people so we have some idea what people wants so in coming days we will try to fulfil the aspirations.” – stated Rai.

While Ganesh Rai’s resignation letter reads “I have officially resigned from all the responsibilities entrusted upon me by the SDF party and from the primary membership of the party on 24th January, 2022. I am not alone in feeling the urgency for reform within the party and the party leadership’s adamance and indifference to reform the party. After SDF lost in 2019 elections and the bye-elections, I remained steadfast in my support for the party. However, in sharp contrast to the claim made by the party President in playing the role of a strong opposition party, the SDF party only got weaker and weaker, with all over MLAs switching to other parties, viz. BJP and SKM while our party president looked on helplessly.”

“The helplessness of the party was such that when SDF supporters were being targeted by SKM, SDF party remained a mute spectator. SDF supporters then started taking resort in BJP by joining BJP party in mass across Sikkim. It was a moment helplessness and realisation for me and many SDF supporters. Our demands for reform in the party to make it a strong opposition were not only turned down but we were called rebels and selfish. I can no longer remain in a party that treats its committed supporter as a rebel when suggestions for reform is placed, and in party that cannot speak up in defense of its own supporters. The party has ossified beyond reform. I stress that I’m not alone in feeling so. There are hundreds of senior SDF leaders who feel likewise and there are hundreds of young SDF supporters who feel so. Many like-minded people from different political organization will follow the suit in days to come.” – the letter further adds.