“SDF does not need alliances to contest election”

Gangtok, 28 Nov:

Sikkim Democratic Front party spokesperson, Bhim Dahal, today highlighted that a political party should have programmes and policies for the people and connect with the masses through that medium, not pursue power by stitching together pre-poll alliances.

SDF, he stated, enjoys such a connect with the people of Sikkim which explains the five Assembly and Lok Sabha election cycles it has won in the State. The party, he said, did not require any alliances to face the vote and will continue to contest on its own as it has done since the first elections it contested in 1994.

"The SDF will contest the assembly and parliamentary elections in 2019 on its own under the able leadership of the party president, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling," Mr Dahal stressed.

Alliances in the mouth of elections were for parties which had no programmes or policies or any connection with the people.

His comments were in response to media queries on rumours that SDF, since it was already a part of the NDA at the Centre, might enter into a pre-poll alliance with the BJP.

On recent meeting between Hamro Sikkim Party [HSP] and BJP state-unit to explore possibilities for an alliance, he contended that HSP had not been opened with the blessings of the people of Sikkim but on the blessing of people from the outside the State.

He stated that SDF saw no challenge from the HSP or the possible HSP-BJP tie-up in Sikkim since while one was a party in search of not only programmes and policies but also a president, the state-unit of the national party in question had no real presence or appeal among the electorate here.

He also explicitly refuted HSP claims that SDF was in talks with a national party for seat sharing in Elections 2019.

“There is no need for any pre-poll alliance for the party as SDF has been contesting and winning elections with the support of the people of Sikkim and that is the only support it requires,” he said.

As for SDF being a part of the NDA at the Centre, he pointed out that SDF has always been working with the government at the centre in the interest of Sikkim and its people.

On the same, SDF party spokesperson, KT Gyaltsen, mentioned that HSP was barely six months old and still looking for a president and its talk about alliance revealed that the party cannot stand on its own.

On the ‘one family, one job’ programme of the State government, Mr Dahal stated that this was an exemplary initiative for the entire country and the outcome of the inclusive politics and humanitarian programmes of the Chief Minister.

On the same, Mr Gyaltsen asserted that instead of opposing the scheme, the opposition parties should present alternatives if they have a better option which was also workable.

Responding on HSP allegations of SDF not doing anything to remove the tag of “immigrants” from Sikkimese Nepali community, Mr Dahal said that SDF has already erased this tag by ensuring that the Sikkimese Nepali lived with pride and confidence in the country.

He also pointed out that the inclusion of Limboos and Tamangs, who are part of the Sikkimese Nepali constellation, in the ST list and the Income Tax exemption extended to the Sikkimese Nepali by virtue of their being Sikkim Subjects was further evidence of the “immigrant” tag was no longer attached to the community.

TN Sharma, also an SDF spokesperson, informed that the SDF government has consistently been pursuing the 40 seat Legislative Assembly recommendation to secure reserved LT seats while the Opposition was only opposing this for the sake of disagreeing and had no alternate formulas to consider.

LT seats carved out from the existing 32 seats in the State Assembly was not a democratic option because it would be an injustice to the 60% population of the remaining population of the State would then be squeezed into minority representation.