Nawin Kiran Pradhan (centre) has previously petitoned a defection case against SKM MLAs; now he intends to do the same with the SDF ‘deserters’ Credit: EastMojo image
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Gangtok: In the wake of recent mass defection of Sikkim Democractic Front (SDF) MLAs to other political parties, the Sikkim Subject committee (SSC) has asserted on filing a case against all the 12 MLAs who switched sides — 10 to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and two to the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM).

The SSC, led by its vice-convener Nawin Kiran Pradhan and convener and former MP Pahalman Subba, had previously filed a case against seven SKM MLAs defecting to SDF in 2015. The same case has been on since 2017, after the High Court of Sikkim directed the Speaker of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly to give a final verdict in the case.

Pradhan criticised the current SKM government and the Speaker LB Das for stalling the previous case of defection to their own benefit. “When the defection happened and after the case was filed, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha members, including the current chief minister Prem Singh Golay and few others, in the current cabinet were among the petitioners to the case. But, now when the case is at their helm to be resolved, they have been stalling the same to their benefit. With the new defection happening over the last week, it is now known why the SKM was stalling the case,” he said.

Petitioners of the defection case outisde the Sikkim Legislative Assembly premises in protest in February this year

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The SSC vice convener also took the platform to criticise the former SDF government and former Speaker KN Rai for equally stalling and postponing the case from reaching a decisive conclusion. “The previous government used similar tactics in stalling the case but at least they had excuses, with either some medical emergency of a few respondents to other unavailability issue, every time a hearing date was reaching near. But, with the current Speaker and the SKM government, there have been no response at all on the case; they have out rightly stayed silent on the issue,” he added.

Alleging that the SKM government was not particularly in favour of resolving the defection case, Pradhan said, “It is now known that they wanted a few of the SDF MLAs to defect to their party as legislators, the same has happened with Dhungel and Em Prasad defecting to SKM. They used a wait and watch tactic against the case and we are certain that they will not bring the previous case to resolve.”

Pradhan highlighted the majority as in case of two-third legislators or an entire political party merging doesn’t apply as defection anymore in the country since a Supreme Court of India judgement in 2003 with regards to one of the Indian states. “Both the political parties, be it the SKM or SDF, or even the BJP, for that matter, are desperate to find loopholes in the Constitution to not term the defection as a proper defection. But, we will be filing a case with regards to this new defection yet again, all in the hope that defection doesn’t happen in the state. It’s a mockery of the people’s mandate when political parties and leaders elected to represent the people, when the[y] defect to other parties either for money or for better position in the cabinet or for their personal gains,” Pradhan added.

The SSC asserted that defection should not happen in Sikkim on a similar voice being raised by various other politicians, civil societies and general public at large.

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