CM trying to alienate LT community: SPA

Gangtok, 25 Apr:

Sikkim People’s Alliance [SPA] has strongly refuted the recent statements of the Chief Minister regarding the Limboo Tamang [LT] seat reservation issue and the consequent expansion of Sikkim Legislative seats [SLA] from 32 to 40.

In a press release issued by SPA chief convenor, MK Subba, the SPA has argued that the LT community, on being recognized as Schedule Tribe in 2002, were entitled to seat reservation in the SLA and consequently, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India had given three options vide Letter No – D.O. No IV/11015/1/2005-CSR II dated 30 July 2005 to the Government of Sikkim where the first option was to reserve five seats from the existing 17 still unreserved seats in the SLA.

The release further informs that the second option was to increase the SLA seats from the existing 32 to 40 seats and give reservation to the LT community leaving the remaining 20 seats as Unreserved while the third option was to increase the SLA seats from existing 32 to 60 seats in conformity with Article 171 [1] of the Indian Constitution.

“Out of the three options proposed by the MHA [GoI], the Sikkim Democratic Front led State government cleverly chose to go with the 2nd option of increasing the SLA seats from existing 32 to 40 seats, consciously aware of the fact that the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly seats has been frozen till 2026 vide the 84th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002, which was approved and passed as an Act in both houses of the Indian Parliament when the SDF led government had two MPs in both the houses.

Subsequently, the 4th Delimitation Commission chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge, Kuldeep Singh, had given an opportunity for Limited Delimitation to the GoS to accommodate the LT seats within the existing 32 SLA seats in 2006. However, the proposal was declined by the SDF led government, which further deprived the LT community of their constitutional rights.

In the same context, we would like to question the Chief Minister as to how he will provide the LT seats before 2019 as claimed by him, within the framework of the Indian Constitution, knowing that the next Census-based Delimitation exercise is expected only in 2031, after the current freeze expires in 2026 vide the 84th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2001. Hence, the SDF led government is very much aware of the Constitutional obligation and that they will not be able to provide LT seats before 2019,” the SPA has stated in the release.

The SPA has alleged that the CM is trying to alienate the LT community from the rest of the Nepali community by stating that LT seat reservation is eating into the share of the majority community thereby inciting divisive communal propaganda.

The SPA has further alleged in the release that the CM has failed to deliver on the burning issues of the State and has been building up “hate politics” since he is running out of options to face the General Elections of 2019.

“We would like to caution the CM to refrain from double standard and divisive propagandas and work sincerely for the people of Sikkim,” the SPA adds.