Hamro Sikkim Party working president Bhaichung Bhutia Credit: File image

Gangtok: Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) chief Bhaichung Bhutia is all set to make his electoral debut in Sikkim by contesting from multiple seats. The former Indian footballer on Tuesday said that the constituencies that he will contest from will be “very close to his heart”, and the public will find out about the same in the next two days.

The promising political debutant of Sikkim is the working president of HSP, which has till now announced the names of only 14 candidates in three phases, against a total of 32 assembly seats from the state. The party has already announced the names of several bigwigs for the assembly elections as well as the only Lok Sabha seat from the state.

On whether he would be contesting from the state capital Gangtok, Bhutia said, “I will announce where I will be contesting from in the next two days. Wherever I will be contesting from will be a constituency that will be very close to my heart… so I will be contesting in one or two seats, those seats will be very personal.”

Adding that the party has received much love from the people throughout the campaign, he said, “… I will work for every individual from every constituency whether I stand from there or not”.

Having named Biraj Adhikar as the party’s Parliamentary seat contender, it is clear that the former Indian footballer will be working for the state from within. “I can’t compare myself with Biraj Adhikari Sir, the amount of work he has done for Sikkim with keeping the State first, the contribution to Sikkimese people and their rights, I don’t think I can reach anywhere near to him. Sikkim has got the right Member of Parliament who will have no fear speaking for Sikkim in the parliament,” said Bhutia.

Taking a dig at the Sikkim Democratic Front’s (SDF) sitting Lok Sabha MP Prem Das Rai, Bhutia said we have already seen him “selling off Sikkim completely in the entire country, saying that we accept the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill [2016], which is completely against the interest of our people”. We don’t want someone like that and neither a government who is fighting for the survival of one person and his personal interest,” he added.

The former Indian football captain took credits for CM Pawan Kumar Chamling’s move of taking a taxi for campaigning. He said we have made him “shed his VIP light vehicle”, and this reflects that he is panicking for the first time. “We have definitely shaken both SKM and SDF party seeing the youth domination among HSP candidates. This election will not be about number of flags you have and number of cars you drive. It is about credibility, it is in the interest of Sikkim and safeguarding the people of Sikkim,” he added.

With names for aspirants yet to be announced from 18 assembly constituencies, Bhutia said, “The best candidates are yet to be announced.”

He stated, “When we came into this election, we had ascertained that we will be contesting from all 32 seats, we will definitely deliver 32 candidates. So far the candidates that have been declared are all credible people from different walks of life. In comparison to any other party, our candidates have got the cleanest image with no criminal and corruption background. The best candidates are yet to be announced.”

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