‘SDF plotting to end Golay’s nomination at RO’s table’

Jacob Khaling
Sun, Feb 10, 2019

Will go ahead with peaceful bandh, even SDF used this democratic form of protest: SKM

Staff Reporter
The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) on Saturday reiterated its decision to go with Sikkim Bandh from February 26 onwards if the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) government does not act on the demands placed during the 7th SKM foundation day programme.
A total of 35 demands have been listed by the SKM to be fulfilled by the SDF government by February 25. If these demands are not fulfilled, the SKM will go for a State-wide strike from February 26 onwards, SKM president P.S. Golay had warned.
In response, the SDF spokespersons on Friday had dismissed the demands of the SKM stating that some of these demands were Central subjects while rest are administrative process which are being done in a continuous manner by the State administration.
The bandh call warning was described by the ruling front as unconstitutional and against the fundamental rights of the people.
Addressing a press meet here today, SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling maintained that peaceful bandh, dharna and demonstrations are allowed as per the democratic traditions of the country.
“Peaceful bandh, dharna and demonstrations are allowed as per the democratic traditions as non-violent means of protest. This was practised by the SDF party also when it was in the opposition in 1993. Even when it was in the government, the ruling front called a two-day bandh in Sikkim on April 3 and 4 of 2012 with various demands. Bandh is a democratic form of protest, the SDF had done it while being in power and we also want to use this medium,” said Khaling.
Khaling said the SKM will go ahead with its call for a peaceful bandh in Sikkim if the demands are not fulfilled by February 25. He appealed support from all sections of the society.
“From February 26 onwards, it will be a testing period for the SDF government. We are saying that the SKM will do a peaceful bandh. If the SDF party does not do violence, there will be no violence during the bandh. If the SDF party comes to the streets and create disturbances, the SKM party will not be responsible. The Chief Minister, also the Home minister, will be responsible. It is his responsibility to see that peaceful bandh with public demands is allowed to happen. The testing time for SDF government starts from February 26,” said the SKM spokesperson.
To a question on whether it is an indefinite bandh call, Khaling said it depends on the situation. “If the government does not try to supress the bandh call then it could be for one day only. However, if the government tries to supress the bandh then people will definitely maintain their protests,” he said.
The SKM spokesperson also countered the assertions of the ruling front that SKM president P.S. Golay cannot contest elections.
“As per our documents, Golay can contest the elections, this is a fact. However, the SDF spokespersons are misinterpreting law and saying that Golay cannot contest elections. They also say that the decision lies with the Returning Officer,” said Khaling.
Khaling alleged that the SDF party is hatching a conspiracy to declare Golay ineligible from contesting elections by using its handpicked government employees as Returning Officer.
“We strongly suspect that the SDF party wants to keep certain government employees of their favour or influence as Returning Officers to end nomination of Golay at table of Returning Officer itself. When that happens, we will not get time to approach the courts also. This kind of conspiracy has started. Legally, Golay can contest but conspiracy is going on to declare him ineligible and to implement, government employees of their favour could be used as Returning Officers,” said the SKM spokesperson.
Meanwhile, SKM MLA and acting president Kunga Nima Lepcha demanded SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal to substantiate his allegations that the SKM MLAs are working against the Limboo-Tamang Assembly seat reservation demand.
The SDF spokesperson had yesterday alleged that the SKM MLAs and SIBLAC created hurdles for the Limboo-Tamang seats by submitting a memorandum to the Centre last year.
“I give the SDF spokesperson 24 hours’ time to prove his allegations and show which memorandum was submitted by us to the Centre against the Limboo-Tamang seats. If he does not do so, we will take the matter to the court and sue him,” said Lepcha.
Lepcha maintained that the SKM legislators during its representations to the Centre have always sought early reservation of the Limboo-Tamang seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.
SKM working president M.P. Subba said there is no space to blame SKM party on the Limboo-Tamang seat reservation issue. The Limboo-Tamang seats are not happening due to lack of will power and sincerity of the SDF government, he said.
The SKM party, when it forms the government, will deliver the Limboo-Tamang seats, he said.

Area: 7096 Sq Km
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi