Prem Singh Golay representing Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) has taken over as the sixth Chief Minister of Sikkim. He has successfully broken the 25-year long magic run of Pawan Kumar Chamling, who was the longest serving chief minister of the country.
SKM bagged 17 of the 32 assembly seats, while Chamling’s Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) secured 15 seats. SKM had started garnering support from 2014. Golay has also taken charge of the state home excise, finance, revenue and expenditure, development planning, and north-east development departments.
He has granted Saturday as an official holiday for government servants as part of the ‘Care and Cure’ initiative. This announcement was warmly welcomed by state government employees. He has also suspended the allotment of expensive government vehicles to state ministers and elected members of the state assembly as a part of an austerity drive and has decided to redirect the funds required for vehicle procurement to developmental activities. He has also declared that police escort vehicles will only be allocated to the Chief Minister, Governor, and the Chief Justice of the state. Additionally, he has decided to shift the official residence of the chief minister from the sprawling and luxurious mansion (Mintokgang) to a more humble government accommodation.
Madan Pradhan, Additional Director and General Manager, Department of Transportation, Government of Sikkim, informed BE, “The state’s public are excited and looking forward to some great changes by the newly formed SKM government led by Prem Singh Golay.”
Golay’s ascent to power has resonated with the hopes and aspirations of the Sikkimese people. He has been a keen supporter of youth. Indra Hang Subba of his party has been elected as the youngest Member of Parliament in the recently concluded parliamentary elections in India. He is just 30 years old and one of the poorest members in the Indian parliament. Subba who defeated his opponent D.B. Katwal by a heavy margin is keen to resolve some of the persistent problems of the state by voicing them in the Indian parliament. He is also keen to reform the state’s tourism sector to make it more attractive for domestic and foreign tourists.