Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SKM defends decisions to field only one woman and shifting Golay to Namthang-Rateypani

GANGTOK, 25 Mar: The party has clearly received a lot of flak for its decision to field only one woman candidate which is why perhaps for the second straight day today, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha addressed the issue and contended that its lone woman candidate was equivalent to Sikkim Democratic Front’s three women candidates [all sitting MLAs].
An SKM press conference today pointed out that the party has been led by a woman since its inception. Bharati Sharma, who will be contesting from Soreng-Chakung in West Sikkim on an SKM ticket, it may be recalled, is also the party’s working president, a post she was appointed to on 04 Feb 2013 when the party was launched.
Addressing a press conference today, the women’s front organizing secretary of the party, Pabitra Bhandari, said that one woman was enough to raise the voice of lakhs of women of Sikkim. It is a historic feat achieved by the SKM party to have a woman leading the party from its beginning, she added.
“We have not seen a single woman in the ruling party in a decision-making body within the party,” said Ms. Bhandari, adding that it was the decision of the women in the party not to contest the election this time.
Nari Morcha chief convenor, Mingma Lhamu went on to allege that during its 20-year rule, the SDF has used women only to defend Chamling.
Meanwhile, SKM candidate for Rangang-Yangang constituency, Bikash Basnett who is up against the SDF president Pawan Chamling, said that he was ready to take on the CM, 40 years his senior, and questioned the lack of second generation leaders in SDF.
SKM spokesperson, MN Dahal said that Bikash Basnett’s age that the ruling party is mocking is in fact an advantage since he is 40 years more advanced in terms of farsightedness, capability and energy.

Mr Dahal defended the change in the party president PS Tamang’s [Golay] candidature from Soreng-Chakung to Namthang-Rateypani by stating that unlike SDF, it was a collective decision of the party and not a single man’s decision.

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