Gangtok, July 28 (PTI): Sikkim''s ruling SKM has attacked the opposition for "hitting below the belt" and "manipulating words" while accusing Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang of failing to handle the COVID-19 situation in the state.
A political slugfest erupted after opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) slammed the chief minister "for blaming the public" for the spread of the coronavirus in the Himalayan state.
Tamang, also the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) supremo, had on Monday said the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases was due to gross violations of lockdown guidelines by people, and asked the police to take action against the transgressors.
"Having nothing much to criticise the SKM Govt for its handling of Covid-19 crisis, Opposition take to manipulation of words and accuses Chief Minister PS Golay of blaming the people for his failures," the SKM tweeted late on Monday.
"Shame on those who choose to hit below the belt just for the sake of criticism," it added.
The ruling party''s reaction came hours after SDF tagged a PTI tweet on Facebook to assail the chief minister for "mishandling the COVID-19 outbreak".
"The SDF party from the beginning has been vocal about how the state government has lagged behind in preparing for the threat that the virus poses. After blatant lapses on the part of the state government to handle COVID-19 battle thus far, the chief minister goes on to blame the public for the spread of the virus!
"Does the government and Mr Golay not have any responsibility in this at all? Such a statement coming from the chief minister is nothing short of shameful," the SDF said in a statement.
The SDF had tagged the PTI tweet which quoted Tamang, also known as Prem Singh Golay, as saying, "Surge in #COVID19 cases in state is due to gross violations of lockdown guidelines by people".
He had made the remark on Monday while presiding over a high-level meeting of the state task force to review the management of COVID-19 outbreak in the state.