Sikkim Progressive Alliance (SPA) during a press meet in Gangtok.  Credit: EastMojo Image

Gangtok: An electoral alliance of four regional political parties — Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP), Sikkim National People’s Party (SNPP), Sikkim United Front (SUF) and Sikkim Rajya Manch Party (SRMP), collectively termed as Sikkim Progressive Alliance (SPA) — has announced its joint candidates for the lone Lok Sabha seat and eight Assembly constituencies of the state.

The candidates for remaining 24 constituencies would be announced in a couple of days, said the SPA executives at a press meet in Gangtok on Monday afternoon.

SUF president Narendra Adhikari is representing the alliance as its Lok Sabha candidate. SNPP president Delay Namgyal Barfungpa is contesting from Gangtok state assembly constituency while SRMP president Rup Narayan Chamling was fielded from Rangang-Yangang constituency. Narayan is also the sitting MLA from Rangang-Yangang constituency.

SNPP members Bikash Darjee and Gopal Khatiwada are the SPA candidates for West Pendam and Khamdong-Singtam constituencies, respectively.

Phiprahang Subba and Datempa Sherpa from SRMP are contesting from Namcheybong and Daramdin constituencies respectively. Ramesh Khanal from SUF is contesting from Rhenock while Tara Bhattarai from SSP is contesting from Upper Tadong.

SSP president and former Lok Sabha MP Dil Kumari Bhandari said the SPA is based on public feedback for a united opposition against the ruling SDF party.

“We toured all across Sikkim and the people mostly said that the opposition parties should come together and contest jointly in the election. They want a change in Sikkim but to make it happen, people feel that only united opposition can do it. Hence, the SPA was formed,” said Bhandari.

Bhandari said the 2019 polls is a ‘watershed election’ for Sikkim that would bring many changes in the state.

In his part, SRMP president Rup Narayan Chamling said, “The SPA has come forward as a strong alternative for the people of Sikkim. People can trust us, we are Sikkimese parties and we will never compromise with the rights of the Sikkimese.”

SNPP president Delay Namgyal Barfungpa pointed out that the four parties have agreed to a Common Minimum Programme which will be made ready in a couple of days. “I am contesting from Gangtok constituency and touring the various parts of the constituency. Some areas have been left out of the developmental pace. SNPP has always been saying that, if elected to power, we will be giving free power and free medicine to the people as power is generated from our rivers and medicines are made in the several pharma factories in Sikkim,” said Barfungpa.

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