HSP to contest by-elections disturbed by latest political ‘developments’

Gangtok, 29 Sept:

Hamro Sikkim Party has announced that it will be contesting all three seats at the upcoming by-elections in the State. A four-member committee of the party decided this given the present political scenario in the State. HSP working president, Bhaichung Bhutia, is also likely to contest from the Gangtok constituency, going up against BJP’s YT Lepcha and SDF’s Rinzing Ongmu.

Addressing a press conference here today, HSP president, Dr Bina Basnett, explained that the party was moved to take a stand given that the manner in which SKM and BJP have come together has made a mockery of public mandate.

It was time for the electorate of the three constituencies going for by-elections to set aside party-loyalties and make a statement against the latest political development when they go to vote on 21 October.

HSP is disturbed by the back-door entry into Sikkim provided to the BJP by the SKM, Dr Basnet said.

She stated that although HSP had declared to extend support to Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, SKM’s capitulation to BJP was too unethical for such support to continue.

She also roped in Sikkim Democratic Front into such criticism because 12 of its MLAs sold the public mandate without the consent or consultation with the people.

The HSP working president, Bhaichung Bhutia, added that the party’s decision to contest the by-elections was also driven by the belief that there was no opposition in the State since SKM, SDF and BJP all appear to be on the same side.

He insisted that both SKM and SDF were being controlled by the BJP.

He went on to speculate that given the recent trend, even if all three SDF candidates win the by-elections, there is nothing suggesting that they also not join BJP. He alleged that even the crossover of 10 SDF MLAs into BJP camp was bargained by the SDF president Pawan Chamling.

He also questioned the propriety of SKM giving two seats to BJP. Convinced that BJP will beat SKM in the near future, he appealed to SKM supporters to vote for HSP in the interest of Sikkim and its issues.

He assured that HSP will never go against the interests of the people of Sikkim and always stay loyal to the State and its people.

Likewise, HSP spokesperson, Biraj Adhikari, informed that Bhaichung Bhutia was likely to contest from Gangtok.