SSP to contest polls to keep party flag flying
The Sikkim Sangram Parishad said it would contest the lone Lok Sabha constituency in the state and at least four to five Assembly seats out of 32 in the May 10 simultaneous polls in the hill state.
Last year, a major chunk of the SSP members led by its former president, Nar Bahadur Bhandari, had joined the Congress. However, those who had not left the party applied for recognition as a regional party by the Election Commission which granted it and allowed it to use its original symbol 'elephant'.
The leader of the now recognised SSP, Upreti, said that the polls were a prestige issue for them as 'we have to make it clear to the masses that the SSP has not merged with the Congress and still has a separate identity in the state'.
He told PTI that the party would decide by Friday which of the Assembly seats it would contest.
Upreti himself would be the party's candidate for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state, he said.
''We are entering the fray with just one thing in mind. We have to keep the SSP flag flying,'' he said.