Sikkim Chief Minister creates political record
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is set to create a political record to become the country's longest serving chief minister transcending the late Communist patriarch Jyoti Basu when he led his party Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) for record mandate for the fifth time in a row in this assembly elections results of which were declared on Friday.
The ruling party Sikkim Democratic Front won the assembly election by 2/3 majority in Sikkim assembly results of which was declared on Friday.
Sikkim, the erstwhile Chogyal Kingdom and India's 22nd state, created a political history in India's independence era when it voted overwhelmingly in favour of ruling Sikkim Democratic Front for consecutive fifth term in assembly elections and electing Chamling as the longest running head of government of any Indian state on the promise of peace, development and sustainability and the success of various development works during its 20 years of power .
Chamling took reins of the state since December 12, 1994 and has completed 20 years as chief minister of Himalayan state. He is set to become only politician of India to celebrate silver jubilee as the chief minister breaking the record of Jyoti Basu who is considered longest serving chief minister by holding the post in west Bengal for more than 23 years from June 21,1977 to Nov 5, 2000.
In the 2014 assembly polls, the ruling SDF has won two-third majority in assembly elections by winning 22 seats out of total 32 seats on the promise of peace, security and development which were the major thrust areas for fighting the polls in all 32 assembly constituencies of the state and got absolute majority in the house creating a new record for retaining the power for consecutively fifth term.
The party got majority 55% vote share in multi-corned contest in the state.
Chamling won from both Rangang-yangang and Namchi-Singhithang assembly constituencies with huge margin .
The assembly elections, which were held alongside the Lok Sabha polls, seem to matter more to the people in Sikkim than others.
The SDF also won the lone Lok Sabha seat when its candidate P.D. Rai defeated main rival Tek Nath Dhakal with approximately 42000 votes . Since the state sends only one member to the lower house due to its low population, so people were more excited about assembly polls .
Chamling was born on September 22, 1950 at Yangang South Sikkim. He joined politics in 1973 and In 1982 he was elected as President of Yangyang Gram Panchayat at the age of 32 years and three years later he was elected to Sikkim legislative assembly for the first time in 1985.
He was elected to the fourth legislative assembly from Damthang constituency securing 96% of votes and was inducted as Minister for Industries, Information and Public Relations from 1989 to 1992.
He formed the Sikkim Democratic Front party on March 4, 1993 with the core principle to uphold democracy, justice,liberty and development aspirations of the people which swept the polls in the 1994 assembly elections and subsequently led his party to massive victory in the assembly elections held in the year 1999, 2004 , 2009 and 2014.
The party has won assembly polls five times in a row, and on every occasion the party has won clear and decisive mandate by getting absolute majority in the assembly.
Surrounded by China, Nepal and Bhutan on three sides , the land-locked state has been the most peaceful among India's strife torn north eastern states . The state per capita income of Rs 1,42,625 in 2012-13, is among the highest in the country and way ahead of the national average.
Sikkim government has initiated a Rs. 391 crore project for constructing nearly 8,000 resilient houses capable of withstanding earthquakes and minimise loss of lives and property.
The state has forest cover in 3,359 sq km( 47.3 percent) of its total geographical area -- more than double the national average of 21 perent and in terms of the density of forest canopy, the state has 500 sq km area under very dense forests, 2,161 sq km area under moderately dense, and 698 sq km under open forests.
Chamling has been successful in developing the state as model Himlayan state in the last two decades Today, it is a global brand name in eco-tourism and India's cleanest state has been declared as best region to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet.
The state is one of the best-managed small states in the country . The state has registered an an annual growth of 12.6 percent over the last eight years.
Chamling has scripted the story of growth and development in Sikkim and has set the target to make Sikkim poverty-free by 2017 and at present it has the lowest percentage of people below the poverty line (BPL).
In 1993-94, 43% of Sikkim's population lived below the poverty line. Last year's Planning Commission report showed that Sikkim recorded the steepest fall in poverty over the last decade - from 30% people in BPL category in 2004-05, the figure was 7.5% in 2012-13. In real terms, that's a little over 50,000 people living below poverty line in the Sikkim .
The Chief Minister has also made ambitious plan to make Sikkim the first debt-free state in India. Sikkim is only state in the country which has achieved total sanitation coverage. He has managed to build a development consensus by actively associating different stakeholders in development process of the state.
Chamling is also an avid writer and poet, who writes under the pen name Pawan Chamling Kiran.
He has immensely contributed to literary and cultural activities in the Himalyan state.
He established Nirman Prakashan in the year 1977 and began the publication of Nirman, a monthly literary magazine from his home town.
Antahin Sapana Mero Bipana, Perennial Dream and My Reality, Damthang Heeja Ra Aajah, Sikkim Ra Narikoh Maryadhyaa, Democracy Redeemed, Meroh Sapana Koh Sikkim are some of his popular literary works which have been widely acclaimed at national level.
Chamling has received several prestigious awards and honours in various fields .
He was awarded Chintan Purashkar (1987) by Sikkim Sahitya Parishad for the best poem , Thekong Ambassador of Peace (2010) by the Pang Lhabsol Committee; Bhanu Puraskar (2010) by Sikkim Sahitya Parishad; Leadership and Good Governance Award (2009) by the Universal Peace Federation; Doctor of Philosophy( Honoris Cousa 2003) by Sikkim Manipal University; Poets' Foundation Award (2002) by Poets Foundation, Kolkata; Manav Seva Purashkar (1999) by Institute of Economic Studies, New Delhi; Man of the Year (1998) by Biographical Institute, USA; Greenest Chief Minister of India (1998) by Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi; Bharat Siromani (1996) by Shiromani Foundation, New Delhi (Presented by the Vice-President of India) for National integration and preservation of democracy in the State
(Posted on 17-05-2014)