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Youth body announces stir against Sikkim defections
A correspondent
 GANGTOK, Aug 17 - The Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum (SPYF) has announced a State-wide movement against the recent defection of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) legislators to the BJP and the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) in the tiny Himalayan State.

The youth organisation has demanded that the defecting legislators should resign immediately as they have broken the trust of the people and dishonoured the public mandate. The SPYF has announced a series of protests, beginning with a mass rally here tomorrow.

Addressing a press conference here today, SPYF member Shankar Sharma stated that the mandate of the people stood disrespected due to the latest political developments in the State. The general public, who are considered the most powerful in a democracy, have chosen their representatives to work in their interest, he added. Sharma pointed out that the people of Sikkim brought the SKM to power and kept the SDF in the Opposition in the Assembly elections this time. But due to the latest defections, another party which hardly got 1.62 per cent of the votes, has become the main Opposition party in the Assembly now.

Sharma alleged that horse-trading after the Assembly polls constituted disrespect of the people’s mandate and was a direct attack on their democratic rights. He stated that if the people’s representatives did not respect the public mandate, there was no use of elections. The present defections are totally unacceptable for the people of Sikkim, Sharma maintained.

Meanwhile, the Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP), which is headed by former star footballer Bhaichung Bhutia, has also launched a scathing attack on the SDF and its leader, Pawan Chamling. The party alleged that the defection of 10 MLAs to the BJP has been “masterminded” by former Chief Minister Chamling himself to escape from CBI probes on corruption.

HSP spokesman Yogen Rai stated that Chamling’s daughter, Komal, would be the BJP candidate in the forthcoming by-election to the Poklok Kamrang seat, which her father had vacated after he won from two constituencies in the State Assembly polls this year. Rai also alleged that there is a plan to topple the new SKM Government by pushing Komal Chamling as the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate.

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