Friday, October 26, 2007

Sikkim EC draws flak from BJP

GANGTOK, Oct. 25: Sikkim BJP leaders have termed the State Election Commission "anti-women" for scheduling panchayat elections on 26 October, the last day of Tika, one of the important festivals for the Nepali community."It will be difficult for the people to cast votes tomorrow which is a festival day. Since no leave is allowed during the election period, many government employees, especially women, would not be able to attend Tika celebrations," said Mr HR Pradhan, president of the state BJP unit. Mr Pradhan added that many people chose not to fight the elections owing to financial problem. "Since the election was being conducted on festival day, it was difficult for the financially poor aspiring contestants to participate in the polls. This is the reason why a large number of seats went uncontested, paving way for the SDF candidates to emerge victorious," Mr Pradhan, said. Although, many corrections were made in the delimitation and voter lists following BJP's complaints, the Opposition parties were not given the draft reservation proposal. As a result, the BJP decided to boycott the rural polls, Mr Pradhan, said.