The Sikkim National people’s Party (SNPP) met today to discuss the situation after the conviction of Shri. N.B. Bhandari, Ex- Chief Minister of Sikkim, to a jail term of one month with fine, after a trial which dragged over a grueling 27 years. The meeting acknowledged the fact that the conviction was the end to an investigation which started 3 decades ago and respects the decision of the Hon’ble High Court as such, but strongly objected to the fact that the process of Justice took so long that today an old man, who has been a real leader for the people, has to face this situation. Though the party desires rule of law, it is deeply saddened by the entire episode and the way it was conducted.
The meeting also unanimously agreed to state the following :
1. The party would like the people of Sikkim to look at the peculiar circumstances of the delivery of Justice in Sikkim today. The same CBI which has convicted Shri. Bhandari, an ex-Chief Minister, is today barred from entering Sikkim to investigate the present Chief Minister, who has manipulated the provisions the provisions of Article 371f to save his skin. The SNPP questions the fact whether there are two laws operating in Sikkim, one for the government and one for the opposition?
2. The SNPP would also like to state that, even if there was corruption during Mr. Bhandari’s rule, it was obvious that all development works were undertaken keeping the Sikkimese interests in mind and were completed with a small budget and without breaking the provisions of Article 371f. The people shall today have to think where today’s development is leading us and whether the basic safeguards of the Sikkimese people are being upheld.
3. The SNPP would like to go on record to state that, despite different political affiliations and ideologies, Mr. Bhandari has been a leader who held Sikkimese interest in his heart and never compromised with them as compared to today’s situation, where the massive influx and hijacking of the economy and political rights by outsiders has become a normal feature. In such a scenario, the SNPP appeals to the people of Sikkim to support a campaign to approach the President of India to grant amnesty to Shri Bhandari and release him from prison at the earliest. For this this the party has decided to approach every political party, social groups and other organizations and requests cooperation from all.