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Will return to power, says Chamling

He iterated that the election was not about winning or losing but about saving Sikkim from the negative forces

By Rajeev Ravidas in Gangtok

  • Published 10.04.19, 2:19 AM
  • Updated 10.04.19, 2:19 AM
The crowd at the SDF meeting in Jorethang.
The crowd at the SDF meeting in Jorethang. The Telegraph picture

Chief minister Pawan Chamling on Tuesday rounded up the Sikkim Democratic Front’s election campaign on Tuesday by asserting that his party would return to power for the record sixth term by winning all 32 Assembly seats.

The electioneering for Thursday’s polling came to end on Monday. A total of 4,32,306 eligible voters will exercise their franchise this time.

Addressing a mammoth campaign meeting at Jorethang in South Sikkim, about 85km from here, Chamling iterated that the election was not about winning or losing but about saving Sikkim from the negative forces.

“The political party in Sikkim today has a very negative thought and they have come to politics only for the sake of their personal agenda. Their agenda is not in favour of Sikkim and the Sikkimese people,” he alleged.

Like in the Assembly polls in 2014, the SDF’s main rival is expected to be the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, which, too, had organised a massive rally at the same venue of Sunday. The SDF had won 22 and the SKM 10 seats last time. However, seven of the SKM MLAs later defected to the SDF.

“We will win all 32 Assembly seats this time,” claimed Chamling, while expressing happiness at the response his party had received during the short but hectic campaigning. “I am excited because during the 10 days of campaigning, I received the positive support and love of the people,” he added.

Chamling said there was no alternative to the SDF in Sikkim and urged people to vote for his party in both the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. “You can study the SDF manifesto to know about the programmes of our party for the next five years. We will make the people of Sikkim the most knowledgeable, strong and the happiest in the world,” he promised.

The SDF president also took a pot shot at the BJP, accusing it of trying to seek an entry into Sikkim through the back door.

“The SKM and the BJP first announced an alliance. Then, the SKM did a U-turn. Thereafter, Ram Madhavji (BJP’s general secretary) came to Sikkim and announced that the BJP would form the next government in alliance with Opposition parties. This proves that the BJP wants to govern Sikkim through back door,” he alleged.

Apart from the SDF, SKM and the BJP, other main parties in the fray are Bhaichung Bhutia’s Hamro Sikkim Party and the Congress. Observers, however, said they were unlikely to pose a challenge to both the SDF and SKM. “Like the last time, it will be a two way contest between the SDF and SKM with the others being a factor only in a couple of constituencies,” said an analyst.