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Chamling takes oath for record fourth term

May 20, 2009 13:40 IST

Ruling Sikkim Democratic Front President Pawan Kumar Chamling was on Wednesday sworn in as chief minister for a record fourth consecutive term along with eleven ministers.

Governor B P Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 59-year-old chief minister and his ministerial colleagues at Raj Bhawan in Gangtok.

Former Speaker D N Takarpa and two women -- Tilu Gurung and Neeru Sewa were among the ministers sworn in. Senior SDF leader and a four-time MLA, elected from Soreng Chakung assembly seat defeating former chief minister and SPCC President Nar Bahadur Bhandari, was the first member to be sworn in followed by the chief minister.

T T Bhutia, N K Pradhan, Dil Bahadur Thapa, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, C B Karki, Dawcho Lepcha and Bhim Prasad Dhungel, were other members of the new SDF government to take the oath of office.

Of the 11 ministers, only two -- Bhutia and Thapa -- have ministerial experience, while the rest joined the government for the first time. Two of Chamling's ministers -- Dawcho Lepcha and Tilu Gurung -- took oath of office in the vernacular Nepali language.

The others, including Chamling, took the oath in English.

Delivering his promise to give more representation to youths and women, Chamling's new government has created history of sorts by giving berths to the two women, as all previous governments since 1979 had a sole woman minister.

Chamling has also taken care of the representation of Bhutias and Lepchas particularly, drafting in four -- T T Bhutia, S G Lepcha, Dawcho Lepcha and Takarpa.

A number of important leaders like outgoing ministers -- P S Tamang and Menlom Lepcha and influential MLAs like K T N Gyatsen, who was the tourism minister in Chamling government's second term, missed out on berths.

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