Members of different organizations and individuals of Sikkim have come together under a single platform of ‘Citizens’ Forum of Sikkim’ in a protest rally demanding resignation of defected legislators on Sunday.
The protest rally against the defected legislators was called by Sikkim Progress Youth Forum (SPYF) under the banner of Citizens’ Forum of Sikkim against Defected MLAs.
The rally has witnessed an active participation of members of political and non-political organizations, students and individuals from different walks of life with placards and slogans against the defected MLAs.
Participants started the rally from Indira Bypass with slogans against the defected legislators and demanding their resignations and walked along Indira Bypass Road and finally ended in front of District Administrative Centre (East).
On the end of the rally, participants also signed a two-page memorandum to be submitted to the Governor of Sikkim from the Citizens’ Forum of Sikkim.
It has to be mentioned here that SPYF announced to start a strong state-wide movement against the defected legislators of Sikkim Democratic Front in Bharatiya Janata Party and Sikkim Krantikari Morcha.
However, the organization has decided to take forward all activities under the banner of Citizens’ Forum of Sikkim due to involvement of different organizations and individuals until defected legislators would not give their resignations on moral ground.
A SPYF member, Rupen Karki mentioned that the people sent their representatives to the Assembly by given their votes but now these representatives have been defected to other political parties.
“The people of Sikkim strongly conemn the defection of MLAs and defectors should immediately resign for breaking the trust of the people and for disrespecting the mandate of the people,” they said.
“We will continue our movement until defectors would resign on moral ground,” he said. He added that they were now no more representative of the people and betraying the trust and mandate of the people.
“We all democracy-loving people have come together and we will not allow the people’s representatives to play with emotions of the people but we will stand against any injustice to the people,” Karki said.
Another SPYP member, Shankar Sharma stated that the Citizens’ Forum of Sikkim started its movement with this protest rally against defected legislators on joining other political parties without taking suggestions and consultation of the people.
He thanked members of different political and non-political organisations and individuals of the State for joining the protest movement. He mentioned that the rally got the permission very late in the night so many people from different parts of the State could not able to join the rally.
“Now, we will go to district and constituencies of defected MLAs to create awareness among the people on this issue. We are not against any individual or political party but only against the practice of defection and we want our representative should respect the people’s mandate,” Sharma said.
He questioned that what was the value of the people’s votes when a party with vote share of 1.6 per cent in this election has became the main opposition party in the State.
Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee president, Bharat Basnet said that although the practice of defection was not new in the State but it was very unfortunate that Sikkim Democratic Front legislators have not been able to carry the people’s mandate for even two months.
He stated that everyone should support the initiative by a young people group against the defection of legislators as this practice was very harmful in the democracy.
He asserted that legislators should respect the mandate of the people.
“People have given their votes by seeing programmes and policies of a political party but if their representatives goes to another party within two months then what is the value and use of the people’s votes. So the people should seriously realise it and should support this movement by a young group,” Basnet said.
Sikkim Subject Committee vice-convener, Nawin Kiran Pradhan stated that it was a historic rally to protest the culture of horse-trading and anti-defection.
“We are very happy that the civil society of the State has come forward on the issue we raised four years back,” he said.
“ The practice of horse-trading is not only to play with sentimental and political value of the people but is totally unconstitutional. So the civil society has to come forward to protect such unconstitutional practice,” he said.
He added that SSC has been working on this issue since four years legally and will continue with our efforts.