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Citizen Action Party Extends Olive Branch to SKM for Peace Talks on October 2nd

CAP members presenting a white flower bouquet to SKM representative

Sikkim Political Peace Talks

Gangtok: In a significant gesture of reconciliation, members of the Citizen Action Party (CAP) paid a visit to the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) party headquarters on Mahatma Gandhi’s 154th birth anniversary, proposing peace talks in the wake of alleged violence that occurred on September 29, reportedly involving SKM party workers.

The Call for Peace

CAP members alleged that the attack occurred when CAP supporters gathered for a youth meet organized by the CAP’s All Sikkim Youth Welfare Council in Soreng town. At the last moment, the venue was changed, shifting the meeting to Dodak helipad due to undisclosed reasons. According to CAP spokesperson Albert Gurung, vehicles adorned with SKM party flags obstructed those wishing to attend the meet, with reports of anti-social elements damaging one vehicle. The individuals involved in the violence were said to be shouting SKM party slogans.

Gurung emphasized the alleged increase in political violence since SKM came to power in 2019, stating, “People in Sikkim are aware that violent activities have increased since the SKM party came into power. No action has been taken against such miscreants, and anti-social elements behind such violence, and they have not been punished as per the law. The ruling party must maintain peace and harmony in the state.”

A Call for Democratic Principles

CAP had previously announced their intention to visit the SKM party headquarters during a press conference held a day prior to their visit. The party expressed its desire for politics to align with party principles and decried the ongoing violence, especially with elections on the horizon. The CAP spokesperson noted the challenges faced by opposition parties in conducting meetings and campaigns, asserting that it is the responsibility of the ruling party to ensure the security of opposition parties and their leaders for democracy to thrive.

SKM’s Response

On the other hand, Pawan Gurung, SKM party’s general secretary headquarters, declined to comment on the issue, deferring responsibility to the party’s spokesperson. However, he acknowledged CAP’s unprecedented step in reaching out for peace talks, stating, “We acknowledge the first such step taken by an opposition party. After their press conference yesterday, CAP representatives called us with the proposal to meet at our party headquarters. We welcomed them to visit, we were ready.”

During the visit, CAP members presented a white flower bouquet to SKM’s Pawan Gurung and offered white khadas (scarves) to other SKM members as a symbol of their commitment to peace.

The peace proposal and the visit to the SKM party headquarters mark a notable attempt by CAP to bridge the divide and address the escalating political tensions in Sikkim. As the state gears up for upcoming elections, the call for dialogue and peaceful coexistence remains paramount.

Gangtokian Web Team, 03/10/23

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