Gangtok, 22 Mar:
The Sikkim unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party today released its first list of candidates for the upcoming polls. While the party’s youth wing president, Laten Sherpa, who has been in the forefront of some labour protests, has been named the Lok Sabha candidate, the Sikkim-BJP president, DB Chauhan, has received the party ticket for Arithang. The party also informed today that it will not be contesting from all 32 constituencies.
As things stand, Mr Sherpa will be going up against SDF’s DB Katwal, HSP’s Biraj Adhikari and Bharat Basnet from Congress.
The party president will have SDF’s sitting MLA, Shyam Pradhan, and SKM’s Arun Upreti pitted against him. The other parties have not yet announced candidates for these constituencies.
Among the other names featuring in the BJP first list are Bhanu Bhakta Sharma from Gyalshing-Barnyak, Sancho Lepcha from Rinchenpong, RT lepcha from Daramdin, Bhola Chauhan from Melli, SB Karki from Khamdong-Singtam, Birendra Poudyal from West Pendam, Bharat Dulal from Rhenock, Mohan Gurung from Chujachen, Devi Basnet from Namcheybong, Jigdal Bhutia from Martam-Rumtek and YT Lepcha from Gangtok.
Addressing a press conference, the Sikkim-BJP president, Mr Chauhan stated that BJP will not be contesting from all the 32 seats but only from constituencies where it has BJP workers.
He added that the central committee is likely to send the second list by Saturday evening.
As for the campaign strategy, he mentioned that the party will reach out to the people to make people aware about funds sent by the Centre to Sikkim and how the State has utilised them.
“We will also go to the people with 129 people-centric programmes and schemes of the Modi government for the people and will also give the report card and achievements of the Modi government,” Mr Chauhan said.
Responding to media queries, Mr Chauhan informed that BJP national leaders like Kiran Rijuji, Ram Madhav, Rajnath Singh and even national president Amit Shah are expected to visit Sikkim and campaigners. He stated that some local issues related to the Centre have also been included in the national manifesto and even the State manifesto will be release soon.