Gross injustice to voters forced me to contest Gangtok bye-poll: Chankapa

Karma Yenten Chankapa with his election symbol ‘torch’.
Fri, Oct 4, 2019

Staff Reporter
Karma Yenten Chankapa, a Gangtokian known for his social works and lately for speaking on contemporary social issues of Sikkim, has made his political debut. He is among the six candidates contesting the Gangtok bye-election.
The 39-year-old does not want to comment on the agenda and issues of other five candidates and their political parties. I believe in my reasons and its relevance to the people of Sikkim and Gangtok and that is why I have decided to contest the Gangtok bye-election, he said in an interaction with media here on Thursday.
Chankapa pointed out to the political upheavals that took place in Sikkim in a space of four months starting with the 10 MLAs of the SDF migrating to the BJP. This was followed by a sudden announcement of SKM-BJP alliance for the bye-elections wherein the SKM gave two seats of Gangtok and Martam-Rumtek to the BJP.
“The voters have not really understood the true power and value of their votes and ultimately got betrayed. See the presently political scenario here, how the political parties have changed their stand and went on to join hands with a party who has totally opposite ideologies,” shares Chankapa.
This, argues Chankapa, was a gross injustice to the trust that the people of Sikkim including Gangtok had reposed on the two regional parties SKM and SDF.
“Though it is a powerful national party and runs the Centre, the BJP had no existence in Sikkim. Recently, 10 MLAs from the SDF went to join the BJP and then the SKM, due to their internal matters, gave two seats to the BJP without any consultation with the people. It is a gross injustice of the trust and votes given by the people and I could see that many others in Sikkim and Gangtok are feeling same. We have to take a stand against it and the best way was to fight the bye-elections. Hence I decided to contest and work to be the voice of the people of Gangtok,” said the independent candidate.
Chankapa mentions that it is the youngsters who are more confused and concerned with the present political scenario in Sikkim till now dominated by the regional parties. “I want to come forward for them and be an example. Of course, I am standing as an independent and I would not have the same powers as those in the government but being a son of soil, I will not remain silent.”
“Politicians at large have hurt the mandate here, we had given them the right to represent us but now we have to re-evaluate the representation given to them. The politics of today must focus on the present generation. I am very concerned on where we are heading,” said Chankapa.
Chankapa started his campaign from yesterday from Development Area. He has been allocated the ‘torch’ symbol by the Election Commission.

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