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Sunday, August 28, 2011

SDF sacks ex-MP & Anna sympathiser...YT Lepcha broke his fast

YT Lepcha broke his fast
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok, Aug 28: Farmer Yong Tshering Lepcha today broke his fast at the STNM hospital here bringing end to his 9-day hunger strike conducted in support of Anna Hazare who also ended his fast at New Delhi.
Lepcha (44) had been admitted at the hospital and was in drips since August 26. He had started his fast from August 20 supporting a similar fast undertaken by Anna.
By the time, Lepcha, who is a farmer from Nimtar, East Sikkim broke his fast; he has lost 10 kgs and also the membership from the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party. He was among those 17 party functionaries announced as expelled by the ruling front on August 20, the evening on which he had been admitted at the STNM hospital following health problems.
Lepcha was a youth vice-convener of East district for the SDF.
“If today is the happiest day of my life to see that my support to Anna Chacha has not gone in vain, yesterday was the saddest day of my life when I read about my expulsion from the party in papers. I had sat on this hunger strike so that there is also support from Sikkim towards the national anti-corruption campaign and I fail to understand why I was punished for a good cause. I don’t think I have done any wrong step or anti-party activity with this hunger strike”, said Lepcha.
Lepcha broke his fast at 11:30 am in presence of SDM (East) AB Karki and Sikkim chapter of India Against Corruption (IAC) functionaries Sanjay Agarwal and Raghav Chettri.
Lepcha pointed out that he had given great service to the SDF party especially during the party’s early days in 1993. “I was in government service at that time. There was great risk not only to my job but also to my life as I was doing different activities in support of the SDF. Yet I took the risk. I also quit my government service in 2006 so that I can work for SDF full-time. I believe that I was expelled simply because of sycophants within the party who does not want committed people to stay in SDF”, he said.
Regarding the end of the hunger strike of Anna and his, Lepcha said that it was a victory for the people. “Before I had started my hunger strike, I had written to my wife that she should not worry whether I will come back alive or not. I told her that I am sitting on a hunger strike in support of a great person who wants something good for the country. My family members were concerned but they understood my belief”, he said.
“The expulsion from the SDF party will not affect me. I will continue to do social work for Sikkim”, said Lepcha who grows vegetables in his farm.
After breaking his fast, Lepcha along with Sikkim IAC functionaries went to MG Marg and offered khadas to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi.
SDF sacks ex-MP & Anna sympathiser
TT, Gangtok, Aug. 28: Former Sikkim Democratic Front MP Nakul Das Rai and a youth leader who was on fast in Gangtok to show solidarity with Anna Hazare have been expelled from the party for unspecified reasons.
The chief minister and SDF president, Pawan Chamling, expelled 15 other members also from the party late on Friday. He did not cite any reason for the expulsion.
“The SDF president, Pawan Chamling, has used the provisions in the party constitution to expel these members,” said a statement from the party.
However, none of those ousted has been sent any official communication from the SDF as yet.
While eight of the sacked members are panchayat members, seven others held various posts at local levels.
The 51-year-old Rai is a founder-member of the SDF and was considered to be a heavyweight in the party. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 on SDF ticket.
“Chamling has expelled me without any probe and has acted merely on flimsy complaints lodged with him by the sycophants in the party. It is not that I have been ousted after I was found guilty of any wrongdoing. I had been contemplating resigning from the SDF as I am engaged in other activities. I have struggled a lot to ensure that Chamling came to power and everyone knows that. I will soon elaborate on all these matters,” said Rai.
The ex-MP also said he had been instrumental in forming the SDF and he would lay bare Chamling’s attitude towards old party soldiers.
The other prominent leader to be shown the door was Yong Tshering Lepcha, who had started a fast on August 20 to synchronise with Anna Hazare’s hunger strike at the Ramlila grounds in New Delhi. Lepcha, 44, had been admitted to the STNM Hospital since August 24 and had been on drips since then.
A vegetable farmer from Nimtar in East Sikkim and the convener of the Youth Front of SDF in the district, Lepcha said: “If today is the happiest day in my life to see that my support for Anna Chacha has not gone in vain, yesterday was the saddest day when I came to know about my expulsion. I do not know whether I was ousted because of my support for Anna Hazare. I had sat on a hunger strike so that there is support to the national campaign against corruption from Sikkim also. I have not indulged in any anti-party activities by going on fast.”
Lepcha was a supervisor in the state power department and left the job in 2006 to devote full time to the SDF.
He broke his fast today.

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