Gangtok, 10 Mar:
Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee president, Bharat Basnet, today announced that the Congress party was ready to contest all 32 Assembly seats and the lone Lok Sabha seat from Sikkim.
He asserted that only the Congress can save the identity and existence of Sikkim and Article 371F of the Constitution. These, he said, would be the issues on which the party will base its election campaign here.
Addressing a press conference, Mr Basnet mentioned that the party would go to the people with issues related to identity and the very existence of Sikkim and the safeguard of the Article 371F.
He claimed that it was the Congress which had given the provisions of the Article 371F to Sikkim and that the party has been committed to safeguarding it ever since.
While reiterating that the party was ready to contest the elections on its own, he added that Congress was also open to allying with any party which prioritized peace, security and development of Sikkim.
Responding to media queries on the proposed alliance between SKM and BJP, Mr Basnet said that the Congress was not disheartened with this alliance and that it welcomed it instead. He added that the Congress practices politics of policy and principles and does not believe in doing business like BJP.
He informed that SPCC has already sent a list of 25 prospective candidates to the Central committee and kept some room in case of any alliances.
On the occasion, Nationalist Sikkim United Organisation president Deo Kumar Pradhan, a Gorkha party candidate in last election, PC Lepcha, and Tej Bahadur Tamang from SDF joined the Congress. He mentioned that more people from different parties will be joining the Congres