|(Top) Mayor KN Topgay and BJP’s Nar Bahadur Khatiwara in Gangtok on Friday. Pictures by Prabin Khaling
Gangtok, March 21: Gangtok mayor K.N. Topgay today said he had decided to resign from the Sikkim Democratic Front and would join the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha tomorrow.
“I will officially join the SKM on Saturday. I will reply to all the questions from the press after officially joining the SKM. Before that, I will submit my resignation to the SDF,” the 56-year-old leader said today.
Asked about the reason for his decision, Topgay said: “I will say everything at a news conference tomorrow.”
A senior SKM leader said Topgay would lead a rally from Lall Market to the party office at Tadong, covering almost 5km, tomorrow.
“The supporters would give a rousing welcome to him tomorrow. Party president P.S. Golay will formally induct him into the party in the presence of all the supporters,” said an SKM leader.
SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal said the party had not received any resignation letter from Topgay yet. “We are yet to receive his resignation. The party would comment only after the resignation letter reaches the office,” said a leader.
Topgay was elected as the Gangtok mayor in 2010. He joined SDF in 2004.
Nar Bahadur Khatiwara was named as the BJP candidate for the Gangtok Lok Sabha seat on Friday.
Khatiwara, 67, is a two time MLA, from 1974 to 1985, and had contested the Lok Sabha in 1999 on a Congress ticket.
Newly-appointed BJP state president Palden Wangchuk Khangsarpa said the party would contest all 32 Assembly seats in Sikkim. The state would go to polls on April 12.
“We will announce our candidates shortly. We are hopeful that we will win some seats and the people of Sikkim would support the BJP, which will certainly form the government at the Centre,” he said.
SKM second list
The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha on Friday released its second list of 18 candidates for the Assembly polls in Gangtok.
So far, the party has announced 22 names and the remaining 10 will be announced tomorrow. Sikkim has 32 seats in the Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat.
P.S. Golay will contest from his native place Soreng-Chakung in West Sikkim and Upper Burtuk in East Sikkim. This would be second time that Golay would contest Upper Burtuk. In 2009, he had won the seat on an SDF ticket.
Milan Rai will contest against chief minister Pawan Chamling in Namchi-Singthang in South Sikkim.