Gangtok: Social activist Nawin Kiran Pradhan, who has been fighting against defection cases against seven former Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) legislators, has termed the recent defection of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) MLAs to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and SKM as an insult to the public mandate.
Speaking on the sidelines of a protest rally against the defection in Gangtok on Sunday, Pradhan informed that his case of 2017 is still pending before the Sikkim Legislative Assembly Speaker and the next hearing is reportedly scheduled for August 24.
“When SKM lost its seven MLAs, they were in support of the anti-defection case. Now when they have taken two MLAs, they are maintaining silence on the previous case, it qualifies as hypocrisy. We have taken our case to the High Court of Sikkim as well as to the Speaker of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. When there was change in the government during this election, we were hopeful that our case against defection would be resolved,” stated Pradhan.
Hitting out at BJP leader Ram Madhav, Pradhan said the people of Sikkim are not fools. “The Constitution holds power to form and dismantle a government. In a rush, we may have voted the wrong leaders to power, but the youth of today are not fools. People have shown their choice in the recent election by electing SKM to power with 17 seats against 15 to SDF. In excitement, all the people felt that democracy has returned to Sikkim, but it seems we are still in the same scenario as the previous (SDF) government. The same should not happen,” he said.
To the SDF deserters, he said they feel that the people of Sikkim are unaware of politics and the proceedings of the Constitution and can do as they please. “Even the BJP could be feeling the same against our people. In the current scenario, 12 stand at facing disqualification, we cannot differentiate were the allegiance of the MLA lies, SDF, SKM or BJP,” he added.
Terming the defection activities as not new, Pradhan asserted that it poses a great threat to democracy despite all the laws protecting it.
Activist Passang Sherpa claimed it is not merely defection but BJP coming to power in Sikkim which is a matter of concern. “SKM is in alliance with the BJP, SDF is also in alliance with BJP, plus they have 10 MLAs who are now part of BJP. These parties have failed to raise the issues concerning the people of Sikkim. The BJP is the one in favour of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which poses a threat to Article 371F and to the people of Sikkim. It is dangerous to the distinct identity of Sikkim,” added Sherpa.
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