HSP launches election campaign with ‘Naya Sikkim, Hamro Sikkim’ slogan

No alliance with any national party. Still awaiting word from SKM for next meeting: Bhaichung

Gangtok, 03 Mar:

Hamro Sikkim Party today announced the launch of its election campaign with the slogan, “Naya Sikkim, Hamro Sikkim.”

HSP office bearers announced this at a press briefing held here today.

Addressing the press, the party’s working president, Bhaichung Bhutia, explained the party slogan as one conveying the frustration of the youth here with the same faces and same politics having been dominant in the State for 25 years.

“The only difference is that the politicians keep on changing parties. There is the same group which keeps returning to the people and indulging in caste-based politics. We want to bring change with a new kind of politics,” he said.

Mr Bhutia also announced that the party will be contesting all the 32 Assembly seats as well as the lone Lok Sabha seat.

“We will not have any alliance with any national party, but we have been holding talks with local parties for alliance and if it is successful, we will hold a joint press meet,” he said, while adding that HSP will field fresh and young candidates.

“We are scrutinising our candidates. We will not field those having criminal records or those facing corruption charges,” he added.

The party will go to the people with a development agenda, he said.

The press briefing was also addressed by HSP president Dr Bina Basnet, and spokesperson Biraj Adhikari.

Mr Bhutia explained that the party would be leveraging five main issues and that a detailed manifesto will be released in due time.

The five broad themes will cover Welfare State, Social Justice, Economic Justice, Democratic Liberties and Accountable Governance.

The “Welfare State” stance will seek “universal public provision of good quality social services including education, health, maternal care and early childhood care, good and safe roads, affordable electricity charges, etc.” Under this, a new scheme for farmers comprising assured income, freedom from indebtedness and sustainable farm practices will be included.

Under social justice, amendments will be passed to ensure at least one-third representation of women in the Legislative Asssembly, judiciary and police and special programmes launched for vulnerable social groups.

For economic justice, HSP will be promising a corruption-free environment for businesses and promoting start-ups with innovative ideas and making Sikkim the first choice for all green industries.

The “Democratic Justice” segment seeks to do away with “antiquated and draconian laws misused to curtail personal liberties and intimidate political activists.”

The party will also be promising “Accountable Governance” by removing the bar on CBI investigations and giving a free hand for independent anti-corruption investigation and prosecution of all past, present and future government officials and public servants.

The HSP president, Dr Basnet, commented that while substantial funds have been invested into public health and education sectors, the results do not match the scale of investments. Hamro Sikkim Party will focus deeply on education and healthcare sectors and bring a huge change, she said.

About the recent departure of HSP leaders, Mr Bhutia said that the “vacancies” left behind will be filled by even better “players.”

“We will have better people with clean image coming up to fill these places. I do not want to comment much on those who have left our party. I thank them for their contributions to the HSP,” he said.

Regarding the discussions held with SKM in January to explore chances of an alliance, Mr Bhutia said, “I had a talk with SKM president and he had told in media presence that the next meeting would be held on January 31 after talking to his party executive committee. However, they later informed that the next meeting would be held after the SKM foundation day on 04 February. But they have not communicated to us so far regarding the next round of meeting. Since there has been no communication, we have started our election campaign and for the moment, are going solo. We are having talks with other local parties and if any coalition decision is taken, we will hold a joint press meet.”