Sikkim Krantikari Morcha President Prem Singh Tamang, popularly known as PS Golay, took oath as the state’s new chief minister on Monday, PTI reported. Soon after, Golay declared a five-day working week for state government employees.
“We have fulfilled one of our election promises to reduce the working week for government employees from six days earlier to five days,” he told reporters after meeting top government officials. He added that government officials could use the extra holiday to tend to their health and their families.
The chief minister added that the MLAs in his government will use cheaper cars instead of the more expensive sport utility vehicles that the previous government had used. He had earlier accused former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar of “misusing public money”.
On Monday, Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office to the 51-year-old at a function in Gangtok’s Paljor Stadium. Golay took oath in Nepali language.
Chamling and senior Sikkim Democratic Front leaders were not present at the swearing-in ceremony, according to PTI.
Golay is not a member of the state Assembly at present. He and the 17 newly elected legislators of his party had called on the governor on Saturday to stake claim to form the government.
The SKM won 17 seats in the 32-member Assembly. The Assembly elections were held concurrently with the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls on April 11. The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha also won the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state. Pawan Kumar Chamling’s Sikkim Democratic Front won 15 seats, some by very narrow margins.
The Chamling government was ousted after more than 24 years. Chamling is the longest running chief minister in India since Independence, having won the Assembly elections in 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. In 2009, the Sikkim Democratic Front won all 32 Assembly seats.