BJP & SKM join hands for Sikkim electoral alliance

BJP & SKM join hands for Sikkim electoral alliance
Sat, Mar 9, 2019

SE Report
GANGTOK:
Electoral political contours in Sikkim have taken another shape with the BJP on Friday announcing a poll alliance with Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM).
This was announced and reported in national media by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav after two consecutive rounds of meeting with SKM president P.S. Golay and his team at New Delhi.
In his social media accounts on Friday morning, Madhav shared: “Sikkim Krantikari Morcha is the main opposition party in Sikkim. The president and MLAs of the SKM party came down to Delhi on Thursday and met BJP President Amit Shah. Today, together with our State party leaders, they came to meet me and finalised the understanding between BJP and SKM.”
Sharing details of the meeting with ANI, the BJP general secretary said: “We have decided that both parties should fight the upcoming Parliament and Assembly elections together in Sikkim. Remaining details like seat sharing will be worked out in the next couple of days.”
Golay accompanied by two SKM MLAs Kunga Nima Lepcha and Sonam Lama along with senior party leaders had met Shah on Thursday. The meeting was also attended by Madhav.
The social media in Sikkim was awash with political commentary debating on the pros and cons of the upcoming BJP-SKM alliance.
Meanwhile, tThe SKM on Friday said the alliance with BJP has not been officially finalised as the tie-up is still under process with the regional party seeking firm commitment from the Modi government on pending political demands of Sikkim.
“Talks took place in Delhi for an electoral alliance between BJP and SKM but it has not been finalised. It is under process. We have placed the long pending political demands of Sikkim to the BJP leadership. Our party was given positive assurances on these demands by BJP president Amit Shah and general secretary Ram Madhav from the party level. However, we have requested that matching positive assurances on the political demands of Sikkim comes from the Central government also through a senior Union minister,” said SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling.
According to Khaling, the SKM placed the demands for restoration of Nepali seats in the Assembly, Limboo-Tamang seat reservation in the Assembly, ST status for the left-out Nepali communities of Sikkim, a concrete commitment that there would be no dilution or threat to Article 371F, IT exemption for the left-out old business community of Sikkim and that the Citizenship Amendment Bill is not implemented in Sikkim under any circumstances.
The SKM spokesperson added that the party was happy with the positive assurances given by the BJP party during the Delhi talks on these pending political issues of Sikkim.
“We are now waiting for similar assurances to come from the BJP-led Union government through a senior cabinet minister. After this comes shortly, we will go for alliance and take forwards the seat sharing and other issues related with the alliance.”
To a question, Khaling said having an alliance with BJP will definitely strengthen the SKM party. “There is no doubt on this. After forming the government, it will also be easy to resolve the long pending political issues of Sikkim,” he said.
Khaling shared that the BJP had been inviting the SKM party for talks. Finally, the party president and his team went to Delhi to have talks with the top BJP leadership, he said. The decision to go and meet the BJP leaders at Delhi was taken considering that BJP is a national party, is in the government and there is lot of pending political issues of Sikkim that need resolution from the Centre, he said.
He informed that the SKM delegation is returning to Sikkim today itself and will give continuity to the ongoing election campaign of the party in the State.
Khaling also countered the allegations from ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party that the SKM has sold itself to the BJP and has joined hands with outsider party.
“It was actually the SDF who was interested in having a pre-poll alliance with the BJP. The alliance could not take place after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave negative views against the SDF government when he had come for the Pakyong airport inauguration. The BJP did not wanted alliance with SDF after realising the corruption and undemocratic nature of the SDF government,” said Khaling.


Area: 7096 Sq Km
Capital:Gangtok
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Climate:
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