Sikkim gets new chief minister after 25 years, moves to five-day week
Prem Singh Tamang, popular as P S Golay, became the sixth chief minister of Sikkim when he was sworn in by governor Ganga Prasad at Gangtok’s Paljore stadium on Monday.
It marked the end of the 25-year rule of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) and its leader Pawan Chamling, who holds the record of the longest serving chief minister in any Indian state by administering Sikkim for 8,932 days.
Immediately after being sworn in, the new chief minister declared a five-day week for the state government employees. Earlier, only the second Saturday of each month was a government holiday. “The government would launch an austerity programme. No minister, including me, would travel in luxurious vehicles. We would also not use beacons,” Golay (51) told the media after he was sworn in. After the oath-taking ceremony, he held a meeting of the 11-member cabinet (excluding him).
Among his government’s priority areas were employment generation, health sector, education, capacity building and infrastructure development, the new chief minister pointed out.
Golay said that he would function from home. Earlier, he had said that the building Mintokgang, which served as the office-cum-residence of the chief minister, would be converted into a centre for the treatment of cancer patients, though he did not elaborate on that plan on Monday.
The president of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha(SKM), Golay needs to get elected as an MLA within six months to continue as the chief minister. He could not contest the Assembly election held along with the Lok Sabha polls since he was convicted and imprisoned for one year in a case related to misappropriation of funds. The incident happened when he was a minister in the Pawan Chamling government between 1994 and 1999.
Of the 32 Assembly seats in the Himalayan state, SKM won 17, while the SDF secured 15.
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