Opposition stages walk outs just to grab headlines: Pawan Chamling

Gangtok, 09 Jun:

“The opposition is trying to mislead the Sherpa community of our State,” said Chief Minister Pawan Chamling while delivering his thanksgiving speech on the concluding day of the Assembly session today.

While highlighting on the need to protect land and introducing the Sikkim Regulation of Transfer of Land [Amendment] Bill, Bill No. 10 of 2018, the CM said that the State Government has not taken any decision on new rules of purchase and sale of land of the Sherpa Community with the present status quo maintained.

He further said that he or his government can never mislead and eyewash the Sikkimese.

“It must be made clear that the Sherpa community enjoys reservation as part of BL community in the Sikkim Assembly. However, in other aspects like land, the Sherpas do not enjoy the same rule as Bhutias and Lepchas,” he added.

The CM clearly maintained that land rules governing the BL community emanates from the Constitution of India and only the Parliament has the right to amend any rule.

Coming down heavily on the opposition, the CM stated that there is a constant effort to instill fear among the Bhutia Lepcha community.

He further stated that if the Sherpa community members are ready, his government is ready to introduce a similar land bill to protect their lands from sale and purchase to other communities.

Defending the bill that was passed in the Assembly today, the CM hailed it as historic.

“This bill will protect soil and address of all Sikkimese,” he said.

On the newly introduced 20% seat reservation to BL communities in Panchayats, he countered opposition’s allegation of not giving adequate representation to the two communities and stated that this is based solely on population in accordance with the Constitution.

The CM while criticizing opposition's view of his government dividing the Sikkimese population on communal lines, stated that it is the Constitution of India which has made ST, SC and OBC communities and it is the good intention of the government to give equal rights and justice to all communities of Sikkim.

Further criticizing the opposition for staging a walk out, he said that they only provide negative comments and do not take part in discussions.

“They walk out to make news,” he said.

On the LT seat reservation, the CM stated that the two communities will be provided reservations according to 2011 census and it is now up to the Center for consideration.

Touching upon the other Bills passed by the Assembly today, the CM stated that the State now has the legal power to establish a Law University in Sikkim and it is dedicated to the poor and students from rural areas.

He also expressed happiness on passing of the Sikkim Greenfield Airport, Pakyong [Settlement of Claims for Loss and Damages] Bill which will protect all Pakyong residents.

The CM also added that the Sikkim Regulation of Societies, Associations and Other Voluntary Organisations [Amendment] Bill is solely aimed at bringing them under the purview of law and for “sudharikaran”.

He also touched upon the ongoing tourist season and urged stakeholders not to indulge in malpractices like high taxi fares and bad behaviour which can malign the image of the State.

“All are now reaping their share of the benefits of development in Sikkim,” he said.

He, however, cautioned that such climate of peace and development needs protection and will last only till a responsible government is in power.

“Let us not take this for granted and step forward to take ownership and responsibility,” he said.

On the Organic Mission and the ongoing ban of non-organic vegetables in the State, the CM admitted to teething problems and directed officials to give transportation facilities to villages in need of transferring their organic vegetables to market and to avoid selecting just few groups and associations.

With basic minimum needs fulfilled, the State is in its second phase of qualitative development, he reiterated.