Gangtok, Jan 24: In a major setback to the main opposition party in Sikkkm – the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) – and its Supremo and former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, as many as 42 party functionaries including the Vice President of the party Ganesh Rai on Monday resigned from party membership and have decided to form a new political party.
The resignation was also submitted by Former Deputy Speaker Sonam G. Lepcha, Former Minister Dawcho Lepcha alongwith SDF spokesperson Prashant Babu Chettri and South District vice president Ganesh Rai.
“It is with a heavy heart that we are leaving SDF party as many reforms that we wished to usher within SDF since the 2019 electoral loss, along with the aspirations of Sikkimese people not being fulfilled by the current government, prompted us to resign from SDF party. We have quit the party with the intention of competing in the 2024 elections and we will be floating a party in 2022,” said Ganesh Rai.
Asserting that he has served the SDF with sincerity, Rai also claimed that “many accusations will come, they will say that we betrayed the party, but this is more of an existential flexibility, as our devotion and responsibility lies with serving the people of Sikkim, which we were unable to fulfill with SDF”.
Ganesh Rai’s wife Tulsi Devi Rai also served as a Minister under SDF regime till 2019. On her resignation, Rai stated, “She has been unwell for the past 3 years and in the same period she has not renewed her membership with SDF which directly means she is not a member of SDF. She is with me in the current situation.”