Sikkim: BJP MLA says party won't even get 500 votes without SKM alliance
BJP members accused social activists in Sikkim of portraying the BJP as a non-Sikkimese party determined to weaken Article 371F.

Gangtok: BJP legislator Yon Tshering Lepcha has claimed that his party’s chances of winning the 2024 Sikkim elections are slim without an alliance with the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party (SKM).

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, BJP legislator Lepcha stated, “In the past, the BJP couldn’t even secure a panchayat ticket in Sikkim. The current government has provided significant support to the BJP. With the backing of the ruling government, we now have two legislators…I believe the alliance between the two parties should continue.”

“If the BJP contests the elections alone, we won’t receive more than 500 votes,” he added.

On the other hand, BJP spokesperson Kamal Adhikari dismissed Lepcha’s statement as the legislator’s personal opinion. Adhikari said, “He (Lepcha) is also a prominent member of our party and a part of our family. Our party has shown continuous growth.”

However, he further said that the BJP intends to “independently contest from all 32 legislative constituencies, as there have been no alliance discussions thus far.” The BJP spokesperson explained, “What the legislator has expressed is his personal viewpoint. There are no internal divisions between the legislators and the party…we will function autonomously as a party, and when in government, we will work collectively with everyone.”

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The party also accused social activists in Sikkim of portraying the BJP as a non-Sikkimese party determined to weaken Article 371F. “The social activists in Sikkim have propagated falsehoods, suggesting that the BJP’s presence in Sikkim would undermine Article 371F,” he said.

Adhikari asserted that while Article 370 was temporary, Article 371 is permanent and irremovable. He also said that Article 371 exists in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, and numerous northeastern states in the form of various subsections, adding “so how could it be diluted in Sikkim?”

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