I addressed an election rally at Taxi Stand, Chandmari this evening.

Following are the highlights of my address:-

The SDF Party needs no introduction as it has established itself as the only party in a democratically elected system, perhaps in the whole world, to form the Government for 5 successive terms.

Peace, security and inclusive development have been the biggest contribution of the SDF government to the State and the country. In 25 years, people of Sikkim have never had to face scarcity of food grains and essential commodities. We have optimised livelihood opportunities and the economy of the state has always seen an upward trend. More than anything else, people’s life and property have been safeguarded.

Over 90,000 Government employees have been appointed during the SDF Government, many of whom have become high ranking officials today. Our State Government employees have benefitted the most during all these years. Their salaries and allowances are highest as compared to other states in India.

The India Reserve Battalion (IRBn) as well as the Scouts contingent were set up by the SDF Government. Today we have three IRBn Battalions, and the total strength of Sikkim Police has increased from a meagre 1800 to more than 10,000.

The Police personnel in Sikkim not only enjoy handsome salary and allowances but are fortunate to be working in such a peaceful State. Not a single person from the police force has lost his/her life while on duty. Compare this with the prevailing scenario that is drastically different in other parts of the country. Our police brothers and sisters should understand that if there is disturbance and unrest, the Police will be the first to suffer. We must therefore understand how important it is to maintain peace, and that it should not be taken for granted.

Everybody is peacefully going about their daily lives. Drivers, contractors, villagers, students, businessmen, Government employees, and entrepreneurs, are free from any kind of fear while engaged in their respective professions and duties. Educational institutions have never been closed due to strike or ‘hartal’. There have been no cases of extortion or any forms of violence.

Sikkim is thus the only state in the world where such peace has prevailed for over two decades, where people are living a life of dignity and freedom. Elsewhere, people long to have peace. That is their only demand even during elections. People of Sikkim have still not realised the value of this consistent peace prevailing in the State. I would say it is not their fault because they have perhaps not seen how it is to live in a place with unrest, fear, insurgency and constant threat.

We have safeguarded the identity of our Sikkimese people. We have protected the pride and dignity of Sikkim and every Sikkimese. We have ensured and maintained people’s rule for 25 years. We have protected our rich heritage and created new history by transforming Sikkim into a ‘cheosam’(altar) by constructing the statues of the holy Buddhist trinity of Guru Rinpochee, Lord Buddha and Chenrezig. In the coming years, we will make Sikkim a ‘Shingkham’(Paradise).

We are retrofitting the Chogyal’s Palace in Gangtok. When we came to the Government, there was no statue of a single Chogyal. It was the SDF Government which erected the statue of the last of the 12 Chogyals – Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal- at Deorali Chorten complex. I am eager to construct life size statues of all the 12 Chogyals if get assistance to get their photographs, even imaginary photographs would serve the purpose. I have requested members of the Royal family for the same.

Addressing the Tibetan community in the audience, I stated that Tibetans in Sikkim have been granted rights and privileges at par with the Sikkimese Bhutias. Constitutionally, they are a sub tribe of the Bhutia community and enjoy all the socio-political rights of the BL community. In Sikkim, the Tibetans are considered a community and part and parcel of the Sikkimese society. I urged the members of the Tibetan community to understand that SDF is their party and they contribute equally to the development of Sikkim. I further appealed to them not to be misled by divisive forces who will use them for their own personal interests.

On the area-specific demands, I assured that all the demands would be fulfilled in the coming Government. I spoke on the following demands :-

1. Sewerage system in Chandmari and Tathangchen which has already been sanctioned and tendered will be completed on priority.

2. New roads will be constructed wherever feasible.

3. The major landslide below Tathangchen will be permanently tamed by constructing a protective wall.

4. Temporarily occupied houses along Kazi Dhara Devithan will be regularized on priority.

5. I extended my support to the demand of the people to relocate Rongnyek Jail, and instead create a tourism infrastructure in its present location.

6. Tenzing Namgyal Ground will be upgraded into a world class stadium.

7. Chandmari will be developed and branded into a unique and popular tourist attraction so that all tourists visiting MG Marg will invariably pay a visit to Chandmari. I suggested that we could develop the place into a popular food street where all traditional food would be available.

8. Old Pabi Gumpa which has been restored will be granted financial assistance for maintenance in future.

9. We will send a high-level delegation to Nepal to extend our invitation to the Guru of Heavenly Path Organization to Sikkim.

We have fielded a young candidate in Shri Karma Wangdi Bhutia. I appealled to the people of the constituency to vote for him, and ensure the victory of SDF. I said that Shri Bhutia is not contesting alone from Syari constituency; rather, he is backed by one of the strongest and oldest regional political parties in India with over 3 lakh membership and led by the longest serving Chief Minister in the country, who has made Sikkim well-known in the country and internationally as well.

People should recall the party’s defeat in the 2014 elections from Syari constituency. I appealed to the people to register their support for the SDF party this time and ensure victory for the people of the constituency. I assured that we will perform even better in the coming Government.

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