Prem Singh Tamang: The man who ousted a 24-year rule in Sikkim

By Subhro Majumder

Prem Singh Tamang, better known as P. S. Golay, is the current Chief Minister of Sikkim and leader and founder of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM). Prior to forming the party, he was a key member of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) Party.

Tamang was born on 5 February 1968 in the Nepali family of Kalu Singh Tamang and Dhan Maya Tamang. He hails from Singling Busty, West Sikkim. He graduated with a degree in Bachelors of Arts from Darjeeling Government College in 1988. After graduation, he worked as a teacher in a state-run school. His son is politician Aditya Tamang, who is also a member of Sikkim Legislative Assembly from Soreng-Chakung.

In 1990, he was appointed a graduate teacher under the HRD Department in the Government of Sikkim and served until 1993. However, due to his active interest in social work and politics, he resigned from government service and started participating in the political activities of SDF. As the SDF candidate in the Soreng-Chakung constituency, West Sikkim, he was elected to the Sikkim Legislative Assembly in 1994. During his affiliations with the SDF party, he served as State Youth Convenor and Vice President.

In 2016, Golay was convicted for misappropriating government funds between 1994 and 1999, and his membership in the assembly was terminated the year after. The 51-year-old earned the dubious distinction of becoming the only politician in the state who has been disqualified from the assembly following the conviction.

He challenged the verdict in the Sikkim High court, which upheld the order prompting Golay to surrender. In 2018, when he stepped out of jail, Golay was received by thousands of supporters who took out a procession in a show of solidarity for their leader.

Golay led the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha to victory in 2019 assembly elections winning 17 out of 32 seats in the legislative assembly which eventually ended the 24-year rule of the Pawan Kumar Chamling led Sikkim Democratic Front. In 24 May 2019, SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling said Golay will head the government in the state however, according to constitutional experts, his conviction under the Prevention of Corruption Act might be a hindrance for him becoming the Chief Minister of Sikkim.

On 27 May 2019, Golay, who did not contest the legislative assembly polls, was sworn-in the 6th Chief Minister of the state of Sikkim. Golay won from Poklok-Kamrang in the by-election with 10,811 votes, securing 84% of the total vote share.

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About the author

Subhro Majumder is a Content Writer who is a sports and technology enthusiast. His other varied interests often sway him into reading about history, politics and international relations.

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