Tuesday, April 23, 2024
News

Bhaichung Bhutia to join Pawan Chamling's Sikkim Democratic Front Party

   SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend    Print this Page   COMMENT

Gangtok (Sikkim) | September 13, 2023 11:46:38 PM IST
Football legend and politician Bhaichung Bhutia is all set to join the Sikkim Democratic Front party led by former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling. Bhaichung made the formal announcement on Wednesday, ending a week-long speculation of him joining Sikkim's opposition party.

Bhaichung who was serving as the working president of the Hamro Sikkim Party, served as the face of the party since 2018, unsuccessfully contesting in the 2019 elections. He is all set to merge his Hamro Sikkim Party with SDF soon, after consultation with other party leaders and members, said Bhutia. He said, "There are still some leaders to meet and the merger of two parties will not happen immediately, it will take time. I have not fixed a date to join SDF or merge yet, that will happen after thorough discussion".

At the previous election, Bhaichung had supported the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha and even held a meeting with current Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay in the run-up to the 2019 election. Bhutia claimed, "We were all in support of Parivartan's promise made by Prem Singh Golay in 2019. We had tactically fielded candidates where the SKM had weaker candidates in constituencies. We wanted the Parivartan as much as SKM did. However, in these 4 years, the Parivartan has failed under Golay and SKM. They are now full of corrupt leaders and businessmen who in the past ruined 25 years ruling SDF party".

On being asked why SDF and not any other political party, Bhutia said, "Following the exit of corrupt leaders, SDF has now cleansed itself of corruption. For long SKM cried about Chamling being a corrupt leader, but it's evident in these 4 years that SKM has not been able to file a single case against Chamling on corruption. Thus, ensuring that Chamling is free of corruption. Besides, in these 4 years as an opposition, perhaps SDF is the only party that has spoken for Sikkim, their call for Save Sikkim is evidence of the same. Bhaichung and SDF will be like Messi and Argentina to win the World Cup".

On criticising Chamling in the past and vice versa, Bhaichung shared, "At that juncture criticising SDF and Chamling was a necessity, they had been thoroughly corrupted. Sikkim needed change and it happened. But now we understand Chamling was not entirely wrong, it was merely corrupt leaders. Yes, he has criticised me in the past for contesting from West Bengal but so did Golay later. Yes, he has criticised me as a footballer as well but I feel that was his ignorance then. Even when I contested from West Bengal under the Trinamool Congress ticket, there was criticism, but I stand here as one of the few leaders from Sikkim who has contested in two States. I can't say about Chamling but in terms of Golay, I can declare that he will not be able to get even a Panchayat ticket from any other State".

On being asked why not join the Citizen Action Party or BJP, Bhaichung answered, "SDF perhaps is the only party that has spoken against Centre's stand on Finance Bill 2023 which led to the dilution of Sikkimese identity and Article 371F. They are the only party to oppose the Centre currently, hence I preferred to join SDF. Citizen Action Party is not clear in their stand against the Centre pertaining to February's Immigrant row where Sikkimese Nepali were termed as foreigners. They only criticized the SKM government but not the Centre. Making it evident that they are aligned with BJP and we know how CAP as a party is being funded currently. I am not against BJP but against the Centre's stand over the dilution of Sikkimese identity, hence there was no way I would join the BJP".

In sharp criticism of Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay, Bhaichung said, "Golay is good at heart but doesn't have a brain to run the government. Initially, when Golay returned from jail, he was clear in his head from all the corruption. It was as though he had returned from rehabilitation from corruption. But as soon as he returned he started once again aligning himself with corrupt businessmen who in the past had corrupted SDF. Soon, all the corrupt leaders started siding with Golay after they formed the government, hoping to find more corruption. In these past 4 years, the SKM party has become richer than the State government itself largely because of these corrupt businessmen and leaders who are being favoured by Golay now, thus corrupting the SKM party and the government and even the Chief Minister".

During the six years of HSP, they had also merged with former Chief Minister late Nar Bahadur Bhandari's Sikkim Sangram Parishad when the party lost its electoral symbol and flag. Bhaichung had then come to the rescue by taking SSP's red and white colours as HSP, claiming to carry on the legacy of Bhandari. However, days after rumours of Bhaichung joining SDF, the late Bhandari's daughter Primula Bhandari criticized Bhaichung for merging SSP along with HSP with SDF. Countering the allegations, Bhaichung said, "We have used the colours of SSP but never used their flags or any other party identity. The party flag and identity still stand with two former SSP Vice Presidents. The criticism from Bhandari's daughter is not valid as she did nothing to save her father's party or any of his legacy, rather she has sided more with SKM to come out in criticism of my joining. SSP is still intact with its former leaders despite losing the right as a political party last year." (ANI)

 
  LATEST COMMENTS (0)
POST YOUR COMMENT
Comments Not Available
 
POST YOUR COMMENT
 
 
TRENDING TOPICS
 
 
CITY NEWS
MORE CITIES
 
 
INDIA WORLD ASIA
BJP candidate Madhavi Latha files compla...
'No fear, victory assured': Rajnandgaon ...
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visits Si...
Kerala: Alappuzha to witness fierce thre...
Lok Sabha polls: Rahul Gandhi seeks anot...
BJP aims to strengthen hold in Darjeelin...
More...    
 
 Top Stories
"Indian Ocean has connected two fri... 
Germany, UK arrest three people on ... 
Peter Siddle replaces Scott Bolland... 
Odisha FC host Mohun Bagan SG in fi... 
"It is hate speech": AIMIM leader W... 
USISPF congratulates India, Space D... 
J-K: Security heightened in Rajouri... 
Tripura Pera sellers elated after p...