Gangtok: Bhaichung Bhutia-founded Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) unveiled six of its candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections at its party office in Gangtok on Friday. The six chosen candidates include two women including party president Bina Basnett, who is all set to contest from Upper Tadong constituency in East Sikkim.
HSP vice-president DS Limboo will contest from Yangthang constituency in West Sikkim, while former legislator and minister from ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) Athop Lepcha will fight the elections from the Dzongu constituency in North Sikkim. Also, three new faces -- Kamala Rai from Rangang-Yangang constituency, South Sikkim; Anush Rai from Namcheybong constituency; and Indra Kumar Suzi from West Pendam constituency in East Sikkim -- have been selected for this year’s polls.
Addressing a gathering at the party office, HSP president Basnett said, "With Hamro Sikkim Party, one takes Sikkim to victory. We are hopeful, that the people will fulfill their responsibility in the mandate seeing where our state is headed under the current regime. Our party being youth-centric, we will work for the youth of the state diverting them away from drug abuse and suicide.”
Basnett, a former doctor, is all set to contest her maiden election against another first-timer GT Dhungel, who is the SDF’s candidate for Upper Tadong constituency.
Former SDF legislator and minister Athop Lepcha, who got his candidature secured with HSP, said: "The troubles of Dzongu constituency are known to everyone. We faced a major calamity with the landslide in Mantam and that has been one of the major issues. I am here not only representing Dzongu but also the entire north district which has been neglected. If education sector is to be taken, there are presences of 14-15 colleges in the state, yet none of the colleges are in North Sikkim.” Taking these issues, Lepcha is set to contest on an HSP ticket from Dzongu.
Calling for endorsing the real Sikkim under HSP, party vice-president and Yangthang constituency candidate Limboo said, "We will be working not merely for the constituency but the state as a whole. Our state can be an example not just for the country but the world over. Under HSP, we are working as the voice of the youth, taking up concerns of the future. We need support from everywhere in making Sikkim better.”
HSP's scheduled-caste candidate from West Pendam constituency Indra Kumar Suzi is a former social worker and claimed to be aware of so many issues in his constituency and the state. "I hope to be a voice of not just my constituency but also of the scheduled caste community of the state. I believed that I would always work as a social worker, but now I have a bigger responsibility in serving the people as a candidate. Taking their trust and that of the party, I will try to win maximum votes from the constituency,” he added.
Thanking the party for choosing him, Anush Rai, HSP’s Namcheybong constituency candidate, said, "This party has a vision of the youth and coming forth, other parties have also extended support for my candidature from the constituency. The youth strength is devoted in making the state corruption free and the coming generation is aware of the various issues in other parties as well. HSP is the only one which is devoted towards a bright future, the party itself is led by renowned persons and with them we are working not merely to secure win for our candidates but also for making the state better.”
Elsewhere, social worker Kamala Rai from Rangang-Yangang constituency, who also serves as the president of the south district women’s wing, asserted on not breaking the trust of the people and the party.
The party had earlier declared to unveil the candidates in three phases, with the first phase being declared on Friday. The next phase will take place by Sunday.