Courtesy: Sikkim Express
Indian football icon Bhaichung Bhutia has confirmed talks taking place in Sikkim that he is entering the political field of his home State.
“Yes, it is true that I would like to contribute to my home State in a bigger way. But I would do it only with people or party that has solely no self-interest for themselves but the people and the State of Sikkim,” said Bhaichung today in a press statement.
On February 26, Bhaichung had announced his resignation from Trinamool Congress (TMC) adding that he is no longer a member of associated with any political party in India.
It set a cycle of speculations in Sikkim regarding the future political roadmap of Bhaichung. The existing options for the 41-year-old in Sikkim are to join a regional party or a national party or to float his own political outfit.
Asked about it, Bhaichung replied: “Right now everything is open.”
Elaborating on why he left TMC, Bhaichung shared that he learned a lot while contesting two elections from TMC for Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and Siliguri Assembly constituency in 2016.
“At both the elections, I experienced that I was looked as an outsider. Especially this was noticed more in my last election in Siliguri. Even the party I fought for had some leaders having an issue with me as an outsider. And so were the people. I don’t blame them at all. Now when I look back I feel they were right. If today I had to vote and my candidate was from other State and not our own then I would feel the same. And also I did not agree on a few big issues the party handled on Gorkhaland agitation,” said Bhaichung.
Regarding his view on the Gorkhaland demand, Bhaichung pointed that the separate Statehood demand from Darjeeling hills has been going on for more than three decades where a lot of people have lost their lives.
“So I think there has to be changed in strategy and look at some other options. I feel maybe Union Territory can be an option. The movement was big in the hills but where they really lacked was good networking and support in Delhi and as well as in Kolkata where it needed the most. That is where it does make a big difference. They also need to get support from the Bengali community and I know for sure there are lots of both intellectuals and common Bengalis who feels for Darjeeling but it has to be approached in right way,” said Bhaichung.
Regarding the support from Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on the Gorkhaland demand, Bhaichung said: “I heard him give a speech on one of the Janta Melas and talking about Gorkhaland and support. He is a very experienced leader and he knows it very well that if Gorkhaland has to happen it can happen only through Parliament and through the constitution. There were two occasions where Gorkhaland was spoken in parliament. One was by Majeed Menon, an MP from NCP and other was Mohamad Salim, an MP from CPIM. Both the times our Sikkim MPs did not speak on the issue. So I feel a great opportunity was lost by Chamling to show his support where it mattered the most.”
Football legend Bhaichung Bhutia cleared all speculation keeping his option open to joining any political party in his home state, Bhaichung resigned from Trinamool Congress on 26th February
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