Gangtok: Two days after Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) released its first list of six candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Sikkim, the Bhaichung Bhutia-founded party came out with the second one on Sunday.
The HSP declared candidates for four constituencies with senior politicians and new faces figuring in the list and taking the total number of candidates announced so far to 10.
The new list features BB Dungmali for Poklok-Kamrang constituency in South Sikkim, Nima Lepcha for Martam-Rumtek constituency in East Sikkim, Pahalman Kami for Zoom-Salghari, a scheduled-caste constituency in West Sikkim, and Neeraj Adhikari for Khamdong-Singtam constituency in East Sikkim.
The candidates were felicitated by party president Bina Basnett and working president Bhaichung Bhutia at its party office in Gangtok on Sunday. Bhutia also launched the mini-manifesto of the party featuring the development initiatives that the party wants to take forth after winning the people’s mandate.
“The youth in Sikkim are being segmented as flag-bearers and their future can be bought by money. We want to make Sikkim the happiest state, and only the HSP can divert the youth of the state away from drugs and alcohol abuse and suicide. Furthermore, HSP doesn’t endorse flags at homes and by April 11 we will remove the flags of SDF and SKM from across the state,” said Bhutia.
The former Indian football captain also slammed CM Pawan Kumar Chamling for his motorcade rally on Saturday. “The gathering was an exhibition of his corruption and he is practising for his exit after elections 2019,” he added.
BB Dungmali, who will contest from Poklok-Kamrang constituency opposite to CM Chamling, said: “I am positive about winning. The public in my constituency see HSP as a party with future leaders and they are certain to extend support.”
Nima Lepcha, former leader of apolitical organisation NEBULA and vice-president of HSP, who is set to contest from Martam-Rumtek constituency, said: “The day SDF government came to power, our state dawned upon failures. Every rural work worth Rs 10-15 lakh was raised to projects worth crores as party funds and the same trickled down vertically among the party cadres. Yet, so many such works have come undone. Time has come where everyone criticizes the ruling front, as none of the youth in the state feels secure about the future with the party.”
Lepcha has been vocal about reservation of Nepali seats in the state Assembly since his days with NEBULA in the 1990s, and he aims to fight for the same with HSP.
Pahlman Kami, a social worker contesting from Zoom Salghari, highlighted how HSP was different and was devoted to the people’s demands. “All parties are working on same or similar issues, but HSP is devoted to people’s demands and are youth based. In my constituency, every household doesn’t know me but they know who Bhaichung Bhutia is”.
PHD scholar Neeraj Adhikari, who is set to contest from Khamdong-Singtam, was selected as a candidate by public opinion, mostly by the students of the state to raise issues of the youth. “For a new Sikkim, I am willing to work 100% on improving the system, come in terms with many problems, take in the suggestions of the masses and try to serve the people,” he added.