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Regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Sikkim ruling party leader Bedu Panth quits, cites public sentiment

The ‘Raja’ has asked me to resign immediately, Panth said, alluding to the people of SIkkim

Rajeev Ravidas Gangtok Published 31.10.18, 12:24 PM
Bedu Singh Panth

Bedu Singh Panth Telegraph picture

The ruling Sikkim Democratic Party received a jolt when one of its vice-presidents , Bedu Singh Panth, resigned citing public’s disenchantment with the government on a number of fronts.

In his resignation letter addressed to SDF president and Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling on Monday, Panth said he was bowing to the command of the people and quitting the party with immediate effect.

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“Now the ‘Raja’ has asked me to resign immediately… I will appreciate if you could also respect the order of the Raja,” he said, alluding to Chamling’s oft repeated assertion that the public was the king in a democracy.

Panth had joined the SDF in 1995. He was first elected to the Assembly in 1985 on Sikkim Sangram Parishad ticket and served as the deputy speaker. In 2009, he was again elected to the Assembly as an SDF candidate.

“I will remain silent for a month,” Panth said when asked what his next course of action would be.

The 65-year-old, however, said he had been receiving feelers from both Bhaichung Bhutia’s Hamro Sikkim Party and the BJP-RSS combine. “I am yet to take a decision on joining any party. If needed, I may form my own party,” he said.

Even though Panth denied being contacted by the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), which is Sikkim’s main

opposition party, speculations are rife that he would eventually join the P.S. Golay-led party.

“As things stand today, SKM is the only party which can pose a real threat to the SDF. And Panth, the seasoned politician that he is, knows this. My guess is he will ultimately join the SKM,” said a political analyst.

In his resignation letter, the former MLA listed a host of issues over which the people were allegedly miffed with the SDF government. They include the problem of unemployment, delay in granting of tribal status to the Limbu and Tamang communities and state OBC status to some Nepali communities and failure to grant reservation for the Nepali community in the Assembly among others.

The SDF, however, sought to make light of Panth’s resignation.

“His resignation will have absolutely no impact on our party. People will call his bluff since he never raised the issues he has cited in his resignation letter within the party even though he held such a senior position of vice-president,” said a senior SDF leader.

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