Bhaichung tie-up riders

Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) leader Bhaichung Bhutia on Wednesday said his party was open to the idea of having an alliance with any party with Sikkim-centric and youth-centric programmes.

By RAJEEV RAVIDAS
  • Published 13.09.18
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Bhaichung and other HSP leaders address the press in Gangtok on Wednesday

Gangtok: Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) leader Bhaichung Bhutia on Wednesday said his party was open to the idea of having an alliance with any party with Sikkim-centric and youth-centric programmes.

Addressing a press conference in the HSP office here, Bhutia said his party's position on an alliance had been very clear since its launch in April and defeating the allegedly corruption-ridden ruling Sikkim Democratic Front remained a priority.

"We are open to having an alliance with any party which is Sikkim-centric and youth-centric," he said.

The ex-footballer had recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, advising him against having any truck with Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling-headed SDF, which is a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and North East Democratic Alliance, because of its track record on corruption.

"Prime minister Modi has a very clean image. Demonitisation was his idea to unearth black money. I feel he shouldn't be associating with a party which is corrupt. We want to know how the SDF became the richest regional party in the country," he said.

Bhutia also accused Chamling of hobnobbing with Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee while still being part of the NDA and NEDA. "You should ask the SDF if it is part of the NDA and NEDA. The SDF accuses us of being a party from outside, but does not clarify if it is in the NDA and NEDA," he said.

The HSP was also critical of the manner in which the government was implementing the fifth pay commission recommendation.

"The HSP has been regularly raising the issue of the implementation of the 5th pay commission recommendations. But we find that the government is still beating about the bush by announcing arrears and allowances without announcing the implementation of the basic salary on which the perks and the dues are based," said Biraj Adhikari, the HSP spokesman.

The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, which is the main opposition party in the state, too, accused the government of short-changing the employees by paying them arrears in instalments.

"We demand that the arrears be paid at one go," said Jacob Khaling, the SKM spokesman.

The chief minister had said the dues would be paid in three annual instalments.

Jacob also said if the SKM came to power, it would declare holidays on all Saturdays. The government has decided to rescind its 2014 decision declaring second Saturdays as working days.

Following Chamling's announcement on Tuesday, the government on Wednesday came out with a notification declaring second Saturday as a government holiday.