Gangtok: On Republic Day, Sikkim witnessed the birth of Citizen Action Party (CAP), a new political party with no flags by former Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) leader Ganesh Rai and other members of Reform Call, a socio-political organization also led by Rai.

A congregation of 1000 people at Rai’s hometown Melli in Namchi district assembled as Rai was positioned as CAP’s chief coordinator.

Over the past few years, Ganesh Rai has projected himself and other SDF defectors as the political alternative to SDF and ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) party.

“Sikkimese people will face hardships under both SDF and SKM. We are the alternative for Sikkim and its people. Political party flags are the root cause of division and enmity in our villages. People are attacked and victimized based on which party flag they have in their residences. Our party will not have flags as we want to remove the politics of flags in Sikkim forever,” said Ganesh Rai.

CAP, presently the only active regional political party that does not have ‘Sikkim’ in its name, shared “Sikkim is in our blood and DNA”.

“The name of a political party must give a message to the people, it should have a meaning. Considering the present situation in Sikkim, we named our party as Citizen Action Party. There will be no political sloganeering in our party, we do not want to see our youth doing only sloganeering or carrying party flags.”

Rai promised a Political Reform Commission in Sikkim if CAP is elected to power. “The commission will be a powerful independent body with its chairperson and members selected in consultation with the opposition parties. As you are aware, political parties need funds to carry out their activities but in Sikkim, it is very difficult for opposition parties to get funds. Our government will introduce cess in government works and that money will go to the commission. The commission will then allocate funds to the political parties so they can sustain and do their activities. We will make this law and be the first State in the country to do so. The commission will also have judiciary powers to act on complaints against those in power. We want to end the cruelty and suppression of people by the ruling party,” he said.

The launch of CAP culminates the Sikkim Sudhar Sankalpa Yatra undertaken by the Reform Call group led by Rai.

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