Sikkim politics: SDF, HSP merger likely on Nov 23
First Published: 17th November, 2023 9:27 IST
Footballer-turned-politician Bhaichung Bhutia is all set to merge with the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) led by 5-time Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling
Ahead of the Assembly elections, Sikkim is almost certain to witness a big development in the political landscape following the proposed merger of 2 regional forces. If sources are to be believed, the Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) founded by footballer-turned-politician Bhaichung Bhutia is all set to merge with the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) led by former 5-time Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling.
Things seem to have made a big progress, after Bhaichung Bhutia on Thursday, met SDF party members and had a meeting at Rabongla regarding the merger of his party.
The proposed merger will be held on November 23 at Ravangla under the Barfung constituency in presence of Pawan Kumar Chamling as well as leadership of both the parties.
On September 13, Bhaichung Bhutia had officially announced his decision to join the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party, led by former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling.
Bhaichung Bhutia earlier had mentioned that complete dilution of Article 371F, lack of proper governance during the SKM regime, alleged erosion of Sikkimese identity under the SKM government are some of the key agendas for which his party had been seeking solutions. Bhutia affirmed that he is determined to pursue these issues and take things to its logical end.
Regarding the merger, Bhaichung had said, “There are still some leaders to meet and the merger of two parties will not happen immediately, it will take time. I have not fixed a date to join SDF or merge yet, that will happen after thorough discussion”.
In 2018, Bhaichung floated the HSP. In 2019, his party fielded 22 candidates in the Assembly polls to 32 seats, but none could win.
Significantly, it was the Bhaichung Bhutia led HSP which had backed the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) when it came to power in 2019 by defeating the SDF.
However, the coming together of the SDF and the HSP party is expected to bring changes in the political dynamics of the Himalayan state especially in the run up to the 2024 state assembly elections.