Both the Congress and the BJP are castigating each other to woo voters. Credit: File Image

Gangtok: Calling for freedom from communal politics, corruption, injustice and atrocities for 25 years under the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) government in Sikkim, the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched its campaign for the upcoming Assembly elections.

“We welcome the decision to have coalition with the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) and are working for the betterment of Sikkimese people. This coalition will usher in such developments on the lines of PM Modi’s development-oriented agenda. As a state, we need a strong leadership in the Centre and usher in development with the SKM, if we work together,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) has slammed the BJP for doing “business with politics”. The SPCC asserted its stand on politics of principle with its electoral campaigning being on the lines of protection of special privilege of Article 371F and the protection of Sikkimese people away from BJP. The party will contest in all 32 assembly constituencies and the Lok Sabha seat in the upcoming elections keeping its door open for a coalition with any regional party.

Addressing the media at the SPCC office, party president Bharat Basnett took a jibe at the possible alliance of the BJP with the SKM. He stated, “BJP is doing business with politics and despite being the ruling front, it has to rely on petty tactics like publicising the meeting with SKM.

“State chief minister Pawan Chamling, leader of the ruling front, was in New Delhi recently meeting the Congress leaders. But the Congress never highlighted his meet as we are into politics of principle,” he added.

On the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the SPCC president said, “It was the Congress that fought against the BJP from passing such an act that would have hampered our state’s special privilege for protecting our people.”

Severely criticising SS Ahluwalia, BJP MP for Darjeeling, for his recent comment on recognition to the Gorkha community, the state Congress president said, “Ahluwalia labeled the Gorkha recognition demand as being pro-Nepali. The BJP is trying to play emotional politics with the people of Sikkim.”

“We will be keeping seven to eight seats for possible coalitions with other regional parties in the state. We have met the SKM as well as the Hamro Sikkim Party and have cleared our stand on politics of principle. If they want the coalition, we welcome them. If they wish to join with the BJP, we have no problem at all. But, they must not indulge in doing politics for business,” he said.

The Election Commission of India on Sunday announced a seven-phase poll schedule for the Lok Sabha (LS) elections 2019. The lone seat for the LS in Sikkim will be held in a single phase on April 11, along with the assembly elections to elect 32 members in the house. The term of the Sikkim assembly ends on May 27.

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