SILTAC confident that next Assembly election will have LT seats “Irresponsible” parties have created

Gangtok, 15 Jul:

Sikkim Limboo-Tamang Apex Committee [SILTAC] has expressed full confidence that the Limboos and Tamangs of Sikkim will contest the next assembly election from reserved seats. A SILTAC delegation recently returned “satisfied and convinced” from Delhi sensing positive developments on the seat reservation issue for Limboos and Tamangs in the Centre. The two communities, it may be recalled, although they were included in the Scheduled Tribes list more than a decade back, are yet to receive seats Constitutionally mandated for STs in the State Legislative Assembly.

A seven-member SILTAC delegation led by their chairperson, CB Subba, advisors Kalawati Subba and Lakpa Ghising, general secretary, Basant Kumar Subba and members Anita Tamang, Sukra Kumar Subba and Bikram Tamang had recently visited different concerned Union Ministries and agencies in Delhi to seek an update on latest developments on the issue.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, SILTAC chairperson, Mr CB Subba informed that with this a successful tour and that SILTAC was 99% confident that Limboos and Tamangs will contest the upcoming assembly elections from seats reserved for them.

He informed that during the tour, SILTAC learned that the file related to the seat reservation issue has already been cleared by the Ministry of Law and was presently with the Home Ministry and will soon be presented in the Union Cabinet for the final decision.

Updating about the recent Delhi tour, Mr Subba further informed that the SILTAC delegation met Union Ministers and senior officials of different Ministries and agencies in Delhi from 25 June to 05 July and also presented memorandum forwarded by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.

The delegation met the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 27 June and received a positive assurance after a fruitful discussion on the seat reservation issue.

Then the delegation met Union Law Minister Jual Oram on 28 June and Union Minister of State for DONER and Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, on 29 June, who also gave a positive assurance to work on the issue.

The delegation had a fruitful discussion in the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes on 02 July and then met the Secretary and Joint Secretary of Union Home Ministry, who informed that the Ministry has been working tirelessly on the issue.

The delegation also called on the President of India on 04 July on this issue.

The delegation also met the National Chairman of All India Confederation of SC and ST Organisation, Dr Udit Raj, on 05 July and the tour ended with a meeting with the Union Cabinet Secretary, Pradeep Kumar Sinha, the same evening, who also assured to take positive action on the issue.

Mr Subba informed that the delegation also submitted a memorandum at the offices of the Prime Minister, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley and BJP national president, Amit Shah, even though they did not the chance to meet them in person.

He, however, mentioned that some “irresponsible political parties and organizations” have been raking up this issue for selfish political gains.

He added that the State government has been working consistently and tirelessly, but some vested interests have been trying to divert the issue to another direction.

“During our recent Delhi visit, we learned that the Centre has received 67 memorandums on this issue from different political and apolitical organisations so far, which has also caused delay in resolving this issue as it has created confusion in the concerned ministries,” Mr Subba claimed.

He added that the memorandums in question have created confusion as they did not have “scientific, reasonable or democratic formula” for the proposed seat reservation.

He mentioned that the Centre has been working on the scientific formula sent by the SDF government for early reservation of seats for Limboos and Tamangs.

Mr Subba mentioned that opposition parties and organisation like LTVC have been trying to mislead the people with irresponsible statements and activities.

He underlined that as Assembly seat reservation was a Central subject so creating noise in the State will not work. He urged them not to mislead people or divert the issue.

SILTAC advisor, Kalawati Subba also expressed confidence that the reserved seats will happen very soon. She urged the Limboo and Tamang communities to remain united and support the recommendation of the SDF government to get their political rights at the earliest.