Leaders of ruling SKM and BJP during the announcement of the alliance for the forthcoming by-elections in Sikkim on October 21 Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: The ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) has announced that it will tie up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Sikkim for the upcoming by-elections in the state on October 21. The announcement was made by SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling at a press meet in Gangtok on Saturday.

While the saffron party has decided to contest two constituencies out of the three — Rumtek-Martam & Gangtok — CM PS Golay’s SKM will field its candidate for the Poklok-Kamrang constituency.

The decision was taken in favour of the Sikkimese people and to fulfill the long-pending demands of the Himalayan state, said Khaling.

Meanwhile, Sonam Venchungpa of the SKM, who earlier contested elections from Rumtek-Martam, officially joined the BJP in presence of state BJP in-charge Nitin Navin. “It’s the beginning of a new era. For the first time, both the Centre and the state governments have come together for Sikkim,” said Navin.

“We have discussed on many issues related to Sikkim. We took the decision of coming together for Sikkim & its people. The BJP assures to resolve all the pending demands of the state and protect Article 371(F). We want Sikkim to have a transparent, developmental and corruption-free government and, under PS Golay’s leadership, Sikkim is moving towards the right direction,” added Navin.

SKM’s Khaling informed the gathering that the decision of the alliance was taken solely for the betterment and safety of Sikkim, its people and their future. “We took the decision by keeping the following demands which BJP has agreed to fulfill at the earliest: LimbooTamang seat reservation in the state assembly; tribal status for 11 left out communities; Karmapa to Sikkim; income tax exemption; and to keep Article 371(F) and all old laws of Sikkim untouched,” he added.

Khaling further appealed the public not to take the decision of the party otherwise and support them in the election.

BJP state president DB Chauhan said that the decision was made in favour of Sikkim and no personal interests are involved. “It’s a big decision for Sikkim. We will work as one. We respect the regional sentiments of the Sikkimese people. BJP has accepted the Parliamentary demands of Sikkim under its principles,” he said.

Meanwhile, Venchungpa said that it’s a growing relationship between the BJP and the SKM and the alliance will definitely strengthen the relationship between the two parties.

SKM’s Sonam Venchungpa, candidate for Rumtek-Martam constituency, officially joined the BJP on Saturday

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