Gangtok, 25 Mar:
A day after Hamro Sikkim Party condemned SKM’s announcement of disqualified MLA PS Tamang [Golay] as its chief ministerial candidate, Sikkim Democratic Front also criticized the move and accused SKM of intentionally misrepresenting rules and laws and misleading the electorate in direct violation of the model code of conduct. The party has demanded that the Chief Electoral Officer of the State take suo-moto cognition of the matter and process SKM in accordance of the law for cheating and misguiding the electorate of Sikkim.
Addressing a press conference here today, SDF spokesperson, Bhim Dahal, insisted that SKM was “again trying to deceive” the people with its claim despite knowing that a person convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act remains disqualified from contesting elections for a period of six from his date of release from prison.
“A person convicted under PC Act cannot even be nominated a Chairperson as per law. There is no question of him then becoming the CM,” he claimed.
SDF spokesperson, KT Gyaltsen, in turn pointed out that since the SKM was fielding Mr Tamang even as a candidate, it was clear that the party was aware of his disqualified for six years status and was hence intentionally misleading people.
He added that the law was clear in recording that a person disqualified from filing nomination papers for assembly or parliamentary elections cannot be made a Minister or CM after the election under the Article 164 of the constitution.
He also spelled out section 171G of the IPC covering offenses relating to election which states, “Whoever with intent to affect the result of an election makes or publishes any statement purporting to be a statement of fact which is false and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, in relation to the personal character or conduct of any candidate shall be punished with fine.”
Mr Gyaltsen further claimed that the party has taken the opinion of a senior advocate on whether Mr Tamang was eligible to contest elections or whether he could be made a Minister in the State government. “The answer received was a clear no,” he said, adding that the matter also came up when Jayalalitha was made CM when her party won even though she was disqualified from contesting elections following her conviction. The Supreme Court had eventually ruled she could not be made CM.
SDF spokesperson and Lok Sabha MP PD Rai, while calling on the CEO to take suo-moto cognizance, informed that the party would also file a complaint before the CEO on this matter.