Sikkim: Not CAP but SDF funds RSS; CAP counters Bhaichung Bhutia

Gangtok: The Citizen Action Party (CAP) has responded to allegations made by Bhaichung Bhutia, who claimed that CAP is funded by the BJP or the Centre. CAP refuted these claims, asserting, “Bhaichung has aligned himself with the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party, which is among the biggest contributors to Rashtriya Sewam Sewak. SDF is the party that is still in alliance with the NDA led by the BJP, not us.”

During a press conference on Thursday, CAP spokesperson Mahesh Rai stated, “We had conversations with Bhaichung Bhutia before he joined SDF. Throughout all our interactions, we have never mentioned that we are funded by the RSS. Yesterday, when he mentioned that we are funded by the BJP or the Centre, he repeated this to portray it as the truth. We do not receive funding from the RSS, and he is attempting to associate us with them. Instead, it is SDF that is in alliance with the BJP, and Bhaichung is joining them. Former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is one of the biggest contributors to the RSS, and now even SKM is following suit. They are the top contributors to the RSS. When Bhaichung started the Hamro Sikkim Party, he was also labeled as aligned with SDF or even Mohan Bhagwat, and later with Rahul Gandhi. Between SDF and SKM, Bhaichung is making his choice.”

In response to Bhaichung’s claim that CAP didn’t oppose the Finance Bill 2023, CAP stated that they were the only party to visit Delhi, meet with key ministers, and protest against the bill both in Delhi and in Sikkim. They also reached out to national parties across the country, despite not having contested elections, unlike larger parties that did not go beyond Rangpo.

“Even though we have not yet contested any elections, we were the only party to take these actions. However, stronger parties than us couldn’t even venture beyond Rangpo (Sikkim’s border with West Bengal),” Rai said.

Regarding Bhaichung joining SDF, Rai added, “The SDF party lacks democracy. Bhaichung is essentially transferring his party’s identity to another party. He claims that 99 percent of corrupt leaders have left SDF, but the remaining one percent of leaders still possess 99 percent of the corrupted wealth. In contrast, CAP relies on crowd funding and maintains a bank account through which we receive donations.”

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Regarding talks with Bhaichung before he joined CAP, Mahesh Rai said, “Bhaichung had great ideas for Sikkim, and we met with him and many other political parties and organizations. At that time, he also suggested that HSP or any other party should merge together rather than forming a mere alliance, which he has now put into practice. When parties discussed merging, there was a condition to retain either ‘Hamro,’ ‘Sikkim,’ or ‘Party’ from Bhaichung, but we disagreed with that. It’s more a matter of Bhaichung not agreeing with us.

Also Read | Sikkim: Bhaichung Bhutia to join Pawan Chamling’s SDF Party

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