GANGTOK, Oct 13 - Following the stone pelting on Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) supremo Pawan Kumar Chamling’s convoy at Namchi in south Sikkim where he and his family members were on a campaign trail on October 10, the former Chief Minister has demanded central observers during the bye-elections to be held on October 21.
Chamling has blamed the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) for the incident. However, this was strongly refuted by SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling, who said, “We don’t believe in violence.”
Chamling said central observers were needed for impartiality in the bypolls. He said the SDF would win in all three constituencies “if impartial elections are held”.
The Hamro Sikkim Party has also strongly condemned the violence, allegedly between workers of the two parties. “The HSP would like to reiterate that it is a party which believes in non-violence and cannot condone incidents of this nature at any cost. The party firmly believes that Sikkim has to be free of violence if the people are to enjoy the fruits of a democratic system, and can stand up for themselves without fear. The party is fundamentally prepared to finish the rule of fear by using violence in the state, and would like to assure the people, that our motto has been to create a better Sikkim, in words and in deed,” said HSP spokesperson Biraj Adhikari.
For the bypolls, the BJP, which drew a blank in the Assembly elections earlier this year, has tied up with the SKM. Bypolls will be held for three seats. The BJP will contest from Gangtok and Martam-Rumtek, reserved for indigenous Bhutia and Lepcha communities, respectively, while the SKM will field its candidate from Poklok-Kamrang. The bypolls were necessitated after legislators who had won two Assembly seats vacated one.