Gangtok: In a major move 10 MLAs of Sikkim’s opposition party Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) have joined ranks with the BJP making the saffron party the main opposition party in the Legislative Assembly.
The 10 MLAs led by Dorjee Tshering Lepcha joined the BJP in the presence of BJP National Working President, J. P. Nadda, and General Secretary, Ram Madhav.
Ram Madhav said that the number of SDF MLAs joining the BJP is two-thirds of its strength in the House so this makes BJP the main opposition party in the state Assembly.
He said, “We will play a role of constructive opposition.”
In one stroke the BJP has gained a firm footing in the Assembly, which was dominated by regional parties till date.
Lepcha said that the merger was made to further the interests of the Sikkim as any of the regional parties that rule the state mostly relies on national parties.
He also said that young voters are with BJP and he will do everything to strengthen BJP at the grassroots. Lepcha also hailed BJP ‘s decision to abrogate Article 370.
The leader added that the youth of Sikkim are supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “look east policy”.
The SDF had won 15 of the 32 Assembly seats in the recent Assembly polls and was the main opposition party in the House. The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) won 17 seats and is now in power in the state.
The SDF was in power with Pawan Kumar Changing ruling the state for far longer than former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu. However, the SKM wrested power from Changing and SDF was relegated to opposition seats.
With 10 MLAs merging with BJP the SDF has lost the opposition space in a single stroke.
With BJP, a national party, getting foothold in the Assembly, the developmental aspirations of the people of Sikkim will have a major boost.