Govt should draw fresh proposal on LT Assembly seats: LTVC

GANGTOK, 27 Jul:

LimbooTamang Voluntary Committee [LTVC] hassaid today that the State Government should forward a fresh proposal to the Centre by involving all stakeholders regarding Limboo-Tamang Assembly seat reservation. The organisation believes that Assembly seat reservation for Limboo and Tamang is possible before the 2019 election if the government works with all stakeholders.

LTVC held a press conference here today, which was addressed by president, YehangTshong, general secretary, PrazalTshong, joint secretary, SunchaKurungbang and active members SushantLimboo and BishnuLimboo.

Mr Tshong stated that the State Government has never taken delegations comprising of all Limboo-Tamang organisations and stakeholders to the Centre. The government has always sent SILTAC which does not represent all LT communities, he added.

“The State Government took pains to facilitate them by forwarding their memorandum to the PM which itself is a copy paste of the State Government’s memorandum and also took extra care by fixing their appointment with Union Ministers and officials at the Centre,” he alleged.

LTVC has questioned the State Government and SILTAC seeking LT seats under Artice 332 even after knowing that it is in violation of Article 371F. According the organization, by doing this the government is deliberately trying to maintain status-quo till the delimitation exercise which is due in 2026. They also alleged that SILTAC has been misguiding the people of Sikkim.

They reiterated the stand of LTVC that Assembly seats should be provided toLimboo and Tamang from the existing 32 seats. This, the organisation feels is an easier and possible solution as it can be done under under 371F (f) and Sikkim Subject Act 1974.

“Remedy of LT seat solution must be sought within the framework of Article 371F which is a constitutional provisionfor Sikkim and Sikkimese people,” they added.

They also asserted that LTVC will oppose any move to merge LT with new Scheduled Tribes in the future.

LTVC members informed that the organization’s president received a reply to an RTI application from the PMO on 12 July which consisted of the state government memorandum on socio-political issues submitted to the PM by the CM, Members of the State Cabinet, MLAs and MPs on 18 June 2016. The memorandum signed by 28 elected members and 2 MPs of SDF government was the same as that proposed by the CM in his earlier letter dated 05 April 2016 to the Union Home Minister which had suggested a fresh proposal regarding LT seat reservation in the State Assembly.

Mr Tshong mentioned that in the letter the State government submitted two options, Burman Commission or the alternative formulation [Interim/temporary solution]. He added that after going through the memorandum of the State Government it is evident that the government is not sincere towards the LT communities.

He added that the government cannot seek delimitation under Article 371F and seat reservation under Article 332 simultaneously.

As a mark of protest LTVC members also burnt the State Government memorandum submitted to the PM by the jumbo delegation led by the CM on 15 June regarding the seat reservation for LT.