Pawan Kumar Chamling, former chief minister of Sikkim on Monday alleged his successor Prem Singh Tamang was diverting public money to the ruling party and family members.
Chamling, who is the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) president, alleged that the ruling party, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), has been coercing people to join it.
SKM hit back at Chamling by terming his statement “baseless and slanderous comments” and asked the former chief minister to knock on the doors of courts of law if he had proof of any wrongdoing.
“The SKM is playing a very dirty game to bring people from other parties to swell its numbers,” said Chamling, who has launched the ‘Sikkim Bachao Abhiyan’ to expose the alleged misdeeds of the Tamang government.
He also claimed that the state’s economy was “dead” under the present dispensation.
“Sikkim’s economy is dead. There are no jobs but only high inflation and a complete collapse of the rural economy. The money has been drained into the SKM and P S Golay’s families,” Chamling said in a statement. Tamang is also known as P S Golay.
He said the trend has to be “stopped immediately” and advised his party SDF to work hard to win back the mandate in 2024.
“Only then, we will be able to restore Sikkim’s wealth,” he said.
Young people are being lured with the fake promises of jobs while families of government employees are being intimidated into joining the ruling party with threats that employed family members are transferred, he claimed.
The former chief minister claimed SDF leaders and workers are being offered cash for joining the ruling party.
SKM leader and its women front president Kala Rai came down heavily on Chamling for making “baseless and slanderous comments” against the ruling party and Tamang in particular. If the state economy was floundering then the blame should rest on Chamling who ruled the state for 25 years, she added.
She also challenged Chamling to knock on the doors of the judiciary if he had proof of corruption.
Rubbishing claims that people were being coerced to join the ruling party, Rai said people had joined SKM “in droves” on their own when it was in opposition, hence there was no need to offer allurements or threats.