GANGTOK, Aug 29: Batting for a pre-poll alliance with the ruling
SKM in next year’s assembly elections in Sikkim, Gangtok’s BJP
MLA Y T Lepcha has claimed that the saffron party “will not be
able to secure even 500 votes” if it contests the polls alone.
Lepcha sounded a discordant note with the state BJP
leadership, which has stated that the party was not satisfied
with alliance partner Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), headed
by chief minister Prem Singh Tamang, popularly known as P S
Golay, and may consider fighting the assembly polls alone.
“The BJP’s chances of winning any seat in the assembly polls in
Sikkim due in 2024 is minimal without a tie-up with the SKM,”
he told reporters on Monday.
“The BJP has not won even a panchayat seat on its own. We
won two assembly bypolls in alliance with the SKM,” Lepcha
said, pointing to his own victory from Gangtok seat and that of
S T Venchungpa from Martam Rumtek seat.
“I personally favour that the alliance between the SKM and BJP
should continue even in 2024,” Lepcha said, while exuding
confidence that if the two parties fight the polls together, their
coalition will win the election comfortably.
BJP spokesperson Kamal Adhikari, however, said the views
expressed by Lepcha were his personal opinion.
“We will contest all the 32 assembly seats in Sikkim on our own
as there has been no deliberation between the two parties on
any alliance so far,” he said.
He said the BJP was committed to ensuring the sanctity of
Article 371(F) which provides special status to the Himalayan
“Some local political activists are accusing the BJP of being an
anti-Sikkimese party by claiming that the constitutional
provisions protecting old laws of Sikkim are being diluted by the
ruling party at the Centre. These charges are disinformation
against the party,” Adhikari said.
“Our national and state leaders have said time and again said
that the BJP was committed to defending the sanctity of Article
371(F) at all costs,” he said.
The BJP has an informal alliance with the ruling SKM, the
government of which it extends support from outside.
The BJP has 12 MLAs, ten of whom had defected from the
opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) in 2019, while two
others were elected on the party symbol in assembly polls held
the same year. (PTI)