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Haat bazaars for political meetings
Published on 17 Mar. 2009 11:51 PM IST
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Sikkim Election department on Tuesday gave its consent to opposition parties for holding public meetings during Haat days in the state. The nod was given during a day-long meet of the political parties, including the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), with the department here at Chintan Bhavan. “We have identified several areas in the state for the political parties to organise their public meetings. The parties can also conduct their public meetings at Haat bazaars during Haat days after seeking permission from the district authorities,” T T Dorji, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Sikkim, told mediapersons after the all-party meet. The permission should be taken from the district authorities so as to ensure that dates do not clash and proper security and traffic arrangements can be made, Dorji said. The political parties can conduct meetings at haat bazaars from tomorrow, he said. Congress MP and chief coordinator of United Democratic Front (UDF) K N Upreti termed the decision to allow haat bazaars for political meetings as a ‘victory’ for the opposition parties and UDF. “Congress is a big party and can organise public meetings in other venues on its own. But smaller parties and independent candidates with insufficient resources will find it difficult to reach a large audience if haat bazaars were not allowed for political meetings. That is why we put pressure on the Election department for allowing haat bazaars for political meetings,” Upreti said. If haat bazaars were not allowed for political meetings, the opposition parties under UDF would have walked out of the meeting and would not have cooperated with the Election department, Upreti said.

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