Outgoing Chief Minister and Sikkim Democratic Front president Pawan Kumar Chamling on Sunday said the people of the state have not rejected the SDF altogether in the Assembly elections, but given it a different role to sit in the Opposition.
In the recently held Assembly elections, the Sikkim Kratikari Morcha (SKM) won 17 seats in the 32-member Assembly while the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) won 15 seats.
"I respect the mandate given by the people of Sikkim to the SKM and to the SDF to sit in the opposition," Chamling told reporters while vacating the official residence of the chief minister at Mintokgang in Gangtok.
Chamling was the chief minister of Sikkim since December 1994.
He said that the people have not rejected the SDF altogether, but given it a different role that is to sit in the opposition which we will discharge with full commitment.
Chamling vacated his official residence and left for his home at Gurpisey, South Sikkim.
Hundreds of SDF workers and his supporters took out a motorcade rally and travelled with Chamling’s vehicle right up to his Gurpisey residence more than 100 km away.
The outgoing chief minister was seen waving to his waiting crowd at the roadside en route to his journey towards Namchi.
Earlier, a large number of supporters had gathered at Mintokgang to bid a tearful farewell to the former chief minister.
Many women were seen weeping as they trudged out of the Chief Minister’s official residence after meeting Chamling.
Speaking to the reporters for the last time from the official residence where he lived for 24 and a half years, the 68-year-old SDF leader said that he respects the mandate given by the people of Sikkim to the SKM and to the SDF to sit in the opposition.
Chamling was also given a guard of honour by the Sikkim Police at Mintokgang before he left the place for the final time.