STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Gangtok, 14 November
Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad (SHRP) ~ the party that was supposed to have merged with the Indian National Congress in October ~ has today called the merger unofficial.
The party leaders said they are yet to receive a written confirmation of the merger from the Congress.
“SHRP ~ a regional party functioning since 2002 ~ has remained sensitive to the cause of the Sikkimese. The merger came about following an appeal from the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi,” said SHRP general secretary, Mr Tara Shresta.
“We are, however, not sure of the merger as the Congress has not provided us with any confirmation in black and white,” he said.
“Some members of the party met the AICC president on 9 October. This is when she asked for the merger. However, ours being a party functioning for the past 12 years, we had to discuss the matter with other members as well,” he also said.
“After Diwali, the SHRP president, A D Subba met Mrs Gandhi again and submitted some conditions for the merger. Informally, we are now in Congress, but officially we are not, as the letter confirming the merger has not yet come from the Congress,” Mr Shresta
Mr Subba said: “We seek written document at the earliest so that we can carry forward our activities in collaboration with the Sikkim state Congress.”
“We were asked for the merger by Mrs Gandhi herself,” he stressed.
He further said his party would continue to exist till the official confirmation comes from the Congress, adding that other options are open to them.
In the same breath, he said, national parties can best serve the local as well as national interests.
“Without assistance from the Centre, the regional parties cannot do much for the state” he added.