GANGTOK, April 23, 2013
Former three-term Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari, having locked down Congress Bhawan here after his unceremonious removal as the State unit president, would be Nar Bahadur Bhandari speaking to media floating a regional political party before May 24.
The symbolic urgency to do so before the declared date is that May 24 happens to the foundation day of Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP), a party
under which Bhandari which ruled Sikkim for ten years from 1984 to 1994. Earlier, he had completed his first term as the Chief Minister under the Sikkim Janta Parishad (SJP) from 1979 to 1984.
Whether Bhandari would ride back on the Elephant (SSP’s symbol) or on the Horse (SJP’s symbol) or take a new political avatar, it is yet to be decided.
“I have three options. One option is SJP and the other option is SSP. The third option is a new party of which I have already written the constitution and selected the symbol also. However, there is greater demand for reviving SSP but there is a question on whether it is legally possible. I have to see whether it exists officially with the Election Commission. Works are being processed on this at New Delhi and a decision would be taken in May”, said Bhandari to reporters here at his private residence Primula Cottage.
The legal issue arises as SSP was ‘merged’ with the Indian National Congress by Bhandari in 2003 but the State Election Commission was recognizing the SSP as a separate registered political party.
Sources inform that SSP was later removed from commission’s list of recognized political parties as it remained inactive and failed to contest in
elections. There is a provision for re-registration of the party and one can apply for reviving it but it is the prerogative of the commission whether to consider the application or not, it was informed.
Meanwhile, supporters and well-wishers are meeting and extending their good wishes to Bhandari after he ended his 10-years relationship with Congress. The call-on series on April 22 which attracted much eyeballs was the delegation of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) led by its vice president Bhoj Raj Rai.
Bhandari revealed that he is in regular contact with rebel SDF legislator and SKM’s unofficial leader Prem Singh Golay. I have promised him support but I will only be ready to have an alliance with him if such tie-up is in the interests of Sikkim and its people, he said.
“I will be meeting Golay shortly. Talks are on for an alliance with him. The political party I am going to float will also benefit him”, said Bhandari.
(Courtesy: Sikkim Express)
Donggala, Sulawesi Tengah
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