HSP – BJP meeting gives rise to speculation about poll alliance

Report by: 
SUJAL PRADHAN
Gangtok
26 Nov 2018

With the Bhaichung Bhutia-led Hamro Sikkim party and Sikkim chapter of BJP holding a closed-door meeting in Gangtok on Saturday, the speculation is rife that the two are all set to forge a pre-poll alliance to take on the might of the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front in the 2019 assembly poll in Sikkim.
The meeting took place in the Deorali office of HSP. A high-level delegation of the Sikkim State unit of the BJP, led by its president D. B. Chauhan, held the morning meeting with central leaders of BJP. Ace footballer Baichung Bhutia who is the vice president of HSP was present.
It was learnt from sources that the meeting, which extended for two hours discussed extensively the present political scenario in Sikkim; and also the possibility of the two parties working together for the benefit of the people of Sikkim in the coming elections.
The meeting concluded in amicable spirits with HSP making clear its stand that the BJP must end its alliance with the SDF first, before working together with HSP could be possible. The HSP also opened the issue of the talk of seat sharing with the ruling SDF and requested the BJP delegation to clarify these questions before the people of Sikkim.
Hamro Sikkim Party leaders also made clear to the BJP delegation that HSP stood for change; but any change should be meaningful for Sikkim. HSP was willing to work with any group which would speak for the rights of the Sikkimese people.
Leaders of the two parties also announced that they were open to forging alliances with others like minded parties across the State depending on political scenario in different corners of the State, to defeat Sikkim Democratic Front party in next Lok Sabha and assembly elections to be held in 2019.
HSP vice president Bhaichung Bhutia said: "Today we had a pre-poll seat sharing alliance meeting with Sikkim BJP party. It was the first meeting with the BJP with regards to the alliance formation. The meeting mainly discussed the pre-poll alliance and I believe that before forming an alliance first SDF should be excluded from the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and NDA. Then only the alliance will be fruitful.”
BJP State president D.B. Chauhan said that the alliance was the need of the hour and people were also demanding the same. “Hence looking at the overall scenario and feedback from the people we have taken this step.  Leaders of both the parties believed that the possibility of an alliance with the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, the largest opposition party in Sikkim, was also there.