The election to the Sikkim Assembly will be also held next year.
NEW DELHI: Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia on Thursday said that his Hamro Sikkim Party (H-SP) is in talks with national and regional parties to form an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls. The HSP launched by Mr Bhutia on Thursday filed a petition in the apex court to remove the ‘immigrant’ tag from the Sikkimese Nepali community.
Talking about a possible alliance, Mr Bhutia told this newspaper that HSP is in talks will all the regional and national parties that are ready to work for the betterment of Sikkim. “We will form an alliance with any party which shows its commitment towards the overall development of Sikkim,” said Mr Bhutia. The lone Lok Sabha seat of hill state is currently represented by Prem Das Rai of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF). The election to the Sikkim Assembly will be also held next year.
Referring to petition filed in the apex court, Mr Bhutia claimed that a large section of Sikkimese society has been hurt by this tag but the ruling SDF, despite a promise, has not done anything to change the word from the verdict.
According to Mr Bhutia, the community had been tagged as ‘immigrant’ in a Supreme Court judgment delivered in 1993 and the best way to correct it is to again approach the court.
He mentioned that Sikkim has three ethnic communities, Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalis, and during its merger with the Indian Union, these communities had been defined as Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalis of Sikkimese origin.
“Thus, the community became Indians after the merger but despite this, the word immigrant was used against the Sikkimese Nepali and the members of the community consider this is an injustice to them. The SDF government did nothing to correct this during its long rule, despite making a promise in the assembly election manifesto in 1994,” he said.