Tuesday, October 02, 2007

BJP & SHRP to boycott Panchayat polls in Sikkim

GANGTOK, Oct. 1: The BJP and the Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad, a local organisation, have decided to boycott the forthcoming Sikkim panchayat polls. Alleging inappropriate time schedule and whimsical seat reservation against the state government, the general secretary of the SHRP, Mr Tara Shrestha, said: "We have boycotted the panchayat polls as a protest against the whimsical seat reservation. We shall hold a rally in front of the Gandhi statue tomorrow and start non-cooperation movement from 3 October," he added. The BJP claimed that it was fighting for separate seat reservation for the Limboo, Tamang, Lepcha and Bhutia communities and had filed a case in the Supreme Court in support of its demand. "We have boycotted the panchayat polls but would be supporting the Independent candidates, some of who are from this party," said the BJP Sikkim state secretary Mr HR Pradhan. There is much enthusiasm among the other political organisations about contesting the polls. "The Congress is contesting the polls and campaign for the party candidates has already begun," said Mr Nar Bahadur Bhandari the former chief minister and president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee. "We would contest the polls but we are not yet certain about how many candidates we are fielding." said Mr Anjan Upadhaya of the CPI-M. The ruling SDF party leader, Mr BB Gooroong, however, said: "Our candidates have already filed the nominations and our party is fully geared for the polls. We are now concentrating on poll campaign.”