Projecting Golay as CM candidate is electoral malpractice: HSP

Gangtok, 24 Mar:

Hamro Sikkim Party has denounced the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha announcement of PS Tamang [Golay] as the party’s chief ministerial candidate as “illegal in substance” and an electoral malpractice.

Cautioning voters not be misled by the “false and impossible claims” being made by SKM, an HSP press release issued by the party spokesperson, Biraj Adhikari, goes on to quote provisions of the law to point out that Mr Tamang cannot contest not just election 2019, but owing to his conviction in a corruption case, will remain disqualified even for the Assembly elections in 2014.

The HSP statement details that “Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) was convicted and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment by a Session’s Court in Sikkim for offences under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act. He was found to have committed corrupt practices when he was the minister for Animal Husbandry from 1996.

“The Hon’ble High Court of Sikkim upheld the verdict of the Session’s Court and dismissed his appeal in June 2017. Consequently, he was behind bars for 12 months and his sentence ended on August 10, 2018.”

The release explains that Representation of People’s Act provides that a person convicted under Prevention of Corruption Act cannot contest an election for a period of six years from the date of completing a sentence of imprisonment.

Given this clause, Mr Tamang will remain disqualified till 10 August, 2024, by when even the elections scheduled for 2024 would have been over, the release details.

“As only seven months have passed since he was released from jail, the so-called Chief Ministerial Candidate of SKM cannot contest the 2019 Sikkim Assembly Election or any by-election later on. If he cannot contest any election now or within 6 months from now, how will be become a Chief Minister? In fact, he cannot even contest the 2024 Sikkim Assembly Election,” HSP underlines.

For SKM to still project him as the party’s chief ministerial candidate was not only an “impossible promise” but also “illegal in substance and amounts to electoral malpractice,” HSP maintains.