Hamro Sikkim Party vice-president Bhaichung Bhutia said that his party may contest up to 18-20 seats in the assembly polls to the 32-member House. Credit: File image

Gangtok: Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) has asserted that it will not align with any of the national political parties in the upcoming general elections. The move comes after widespread criticism from the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) tagging the party as BJP’s representative in the state following its previous alliance talks.

“We have been holding talks with regional parties. In the coming days, when there is coalition, we will be hold a joint press conference,” said Bhaichung Bhutia, working president of the HSP, while addressing a press conference in Gangtok on Sunday.

The party had held talks with the opposition party Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) wherein Bhutia and SKM party president PS Golay held a closed-door meeting with promises for further a meeting on January 31. However, the HSP alleged that the SKM cancelled the meeting on grounds of the party’s foundation day on February 4. “A month has passed since then, yet there has been no talks held yet with them cancelling two-three meetings with us. There has been no word since. With the model code of conduct nearing in, we are here releasing our election campaign,” he stated.

On SKM’s stand of not aligning with any regional parties, the HSP cited they have not been informed of the same while the party has been holding talks with other regional parties as well, apart from SKM.

The party unveiled its plans for contesting all 32 seats of the state Assembly and the sole Lok Sabha seat. “Fresh faces and youth will form the majority of the candidates with proper scrutiny and with no criminal record and corruption charges. So far the politics being done in the state has only been based on caste and community and we want to change that”, he stated.

Launching the party’s clarion call ‘Naya Sikkim, Hamro Sikkim’, the party unveiled its agenda for Sikkim covering 19 issues for 2019 elections that touch the daily life of people and interweave them with the development of the state covering five broad areas of a welfare state, social justice, economic justice, democratic liberties and accountable governance. “In all the 25 years, Pawan Chamling never campaigned for development during elections, it has always been communal. State politics has had representation of the same chief minister, MLAs, ministers and same politicians who switch from one party to another. The youth of today are fed up with such kind of politics,” Bhutia said.

The HSP alleged that the SDF has done communal politics in the past with Limboo-Tamang seat reservation for far too long and now they are shifting base with Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee against Akhil Kirat Rai Sangh. “Politicians have been based out of their respective community and they remain as such in every party, leading to them to do communal politics, which favours only a group of politicians. The HSP wants to keep its stand away from communal politics,” he said.

As part of its agenda for Sikkim, the HSP asserted on creation of a ‘Right to Sports’ similar to Right to Education, which will be the first of its kind in the country. The party also asserted on one-time comprehensive loan waiver of all crop loans from the state farmers which amounts to more than Rs 200 crore, Bhutia added.

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