United Sikkimese Forum to present united front on 3 issues

GANGTOK, 28 Jan: The recently formed ‘United Sikkimese Forum’ [USF] today announced their three-point agenda on which all member parties have agreed following three rounds of discussions. The various political parties have decided to fight together on the issues of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, recent remarks of the Chief Minister on menstrual cycle of women and,Rojgar Mela and ongoing Janta Mela.

On being asked about the nature of the alliance, USF chief coordinator, RN Chamling said, “The forum is basically about building consensus among different political parties on issues that matter and to see if the opposition can speak in the same voice on these topics.”

He did not completely dismiss the suggestion that the forum could develop into a seat sharing pre-poll alliance.

“Time will decide what shape the forum will finally take but we will keep building upon the unity that we have forged. We will keep meeting and then decide,” he added.

United Sikkimese Forum is the outcome of a meeting of all opposition parties of Sikkim initiated by Sikkim Subject Committee here on 25 January to discuss the possibility of a united front in view of upcoming elections in the State.

The meeting was attended by leaders and representatives of all regional parties including Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, Hamro Sikkim Party, Sikkim Rajya Manch, Sikkim National People's Party, Sikkim Republican Party, Sikkim United Party and Sikkim Sangram Parishad. SRM president and MLA, RN Chamling was nominated as the chief coordinator of the forum in the meeting.

On the conspicuous absence of national parties like the BJP and Congress, Mr Chamling said, “We invited all parties. We did our duty, we have no further comments.”

The forum has decided to submit a memorandum to the Governor and approach all concerned authorities on these three issues.

USF member, Nawin KiranPradhan stated that every party has its own issues and stand but common issues can be foughtunitedly in the interest of the people.

Mr Pradhan mentioned that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is a threat to the Sikkim Subject. He also criticised the language and remarks of the CM on the menstrual cycle of women.

USF president,Narendra Adhikari stated that the forum objects to SDF MP Lok Sabha, PD Rai offering support to the Citizenship Bill when other north eastern regions have protested strongly against the bill. He alleged that the State MP has worked against the interest of the people of Sikkim even after getting their mandate.

“SDF government should pass a resolution in the State Assembly against the bill and send it to the Centre otherwise such bill will put the future of Sikkim in danger,” Mr Adhikari said.

HSP spokesperson, Biraj Adhikari stated that the forum supports the Rojgar Mela but objects to the way the scheme is being implemented. He added that such an initiative just before election is just to gets people’s votes.

USF chief coordinator demanded that the government provide permanent job and not adhoc ones. He also said that the forum fully supports the initiative of Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum adding that the Health Minister should immediately fulfil his written assurance given to SPYF.