Press Conference by Sikkimese Youth for Reforms on high expenditure during elections.
October 15th 2022.
Joel Gurung, addressed the methods of election in the state, and how money has become a huge influence during elections. He stressed on how voting should be free and fair, and the way elections are conducted in Sikkim throughout have been misled. This is the reason why governments change, people change but the development of the needy does not happen. He said our elections are factors of nepotism and most importantly money which leads to corruption. The main cause of all this happening mainly due to the high expenditure during elections. He said that it is a huge threat a state of our size and population to have such high figures of expenses during elections.
He said that we, especially the upcoming generation of voters should understand what elections truly mean. Elections is all about the people, their choice, their dreams and aspirations. Votes are being sold, which is equivalent to selling one’s birth right. He said that elections are festivals to celebrate people’s choice and votes, a gift of democracy by the constitution. Sadly, there has been a misconception amongst us Sikkimese that is a means negotiation which is wrong and does not contribute to development. We give away votes in exchange for money, alcohol, vehicles and in return we give away our rights for the next five years.
He raised a question on how parties fund election campaign of high expenses. He said then after the representatives are elected, the people arouse questions on conditions of roads, electricity. He added that we have a huge part to play in this because as long as we let elections get conducted in this manner and not in a fair, free way, with less expenditure we should not expect developments to be made in Sikkim. He said the reason being expenses for development are used during elections.
He requests the new generation of voters to initiate healthy elections, to put an end to violence and vandalism during elections which has been seen at almost every elections of previous years. Said we should stop holding grudges against opposition party supporters, who sometimes are one’s own kin, neighbours, friends.