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Golay says bye to SDF, finally

Gangtok, Sept. 4: The dissident MLA of the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front, P.S. Golay, finally resigned from the party today, citing corruption and nepotism by the chief minister and poor leadership of the organisation.

Golay, who represents Upper Burtuk (East Sikkim) in the Assembly, had been in an open confrontation with the SDF leadership and a party called Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) was launched by his supporters on February 4.

Despite his frequent run-ins with the leadership, the 43-year-old hadn’t resigned from the SDF. “When the right times comes, I will quit,” Golay used to say. Golay had said at several public meetings that he “was not happy with the party leadership”.

The 14-page resignation letter, written in Nepali and addressed to SDF president Pawan Chamling, was sent to the official e-mail ID of the party headquarters in Gangtok. Although the SDF spokesperson denied having received any such letter, sources in the Assembly said Golay would cease to be a member of the House once the party accepted the resignation.

The letter reads: “The first reason for my resignation is the difficulties I face while doing people’s work as the party’s policies are not people-oriented. Nepotism, favouritism and poor leadership of the party are few of the other reasons for my resignation.”

Golay said the party had failed to discharge its responsibilities and become “a resource” for chief minister Chamling.

“President Sir, SDF was never your private intellectual property. This was a political party dedicated to the people and formed with the support of the people against nepotism, communalism and exploitation. But under your leadership, this party was used as a resource only for you and exploiters and realising the injustice towards poor Sikkimese people, I am writing this resignation letter. The SDF that claims to work for the poor has failed to secure health, education and employment for the poor in 19 years since its birth. .. Your pro-poor slogan has proved to be mere a false assurances.”

“I was deeply hurt when a corruption case was filed against you (Chamling). I was under the impression that it was just a political allegation. But when you took out a gazette notification to prevent CBI from entering Sikkim, I became fully convinced of the corruption allegations. If you were innocent, then you would have definitely given permission to CBI to investigate.”

An aide to Golay said he was out of Gangtok today. The letter was also circulated among media persons.

The SDF spokesperson, Bhim Dahal, said: “I am not in the party headquarters today. But as far as my knowledge is concerned, we haven’t received any letter. If any such letter comes, we will decide on the future course of action.”

Golay is one of the founding members of the SDF that was established in 1994 and has been a member of the Assembly for four terms (1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009).

He was a cabinet minister and had been elected from the Soreng constituency in West Sikkim three times before he was asked by the leadership to contest from Upper Burtuk in 2009.

Although Golay won in 2009, he distanced himself from the party after that.

The working president of the SKM, Bharati Sharma, welcomed Golay’s resignation. “I welcome Golay’s decision to tender his resignation from the SDF. We would like to expresses our wishes for his future political activities.”