HSP wants CM to clarify how increase in Assembly strength does not dilute Art 371F

Gangtok, 12 Aug:

Hamro Sikkim Party has demanded that the Chief Minister, in his Independence Day message, “clarify the sensitive matter” of an amendment to Article 371F to increase the Assembly strength to 40 [as proposed to make space for reserved seats for Limboos and Tamangs by virtue of their having become Scheduled Tribes].

HSP spokesperson, Biraj Adhikari, while addressing a press conference here today, also demanded an explanation for what HSP sees as ‘nonsensical’ land laws passed in the Legislative Assembly [providing protection for Sherpa lands against alienation].

These laws have crated distress and confusion among the people who are also not satisfied. Absence of any explanation from the government will create social unrest in the State, he said.

“The CM should also clarify the sensitive matter of amendment of Article 371F in respect of seat increase in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly,” he demanded, adding that while HSP would welcome the increase of seats in the Assembly, the CM should first clarify the sensitive matter of amendment in Article 371F.

“We want the Limboo and Tamang communities to get their reserved seats as they have been deprived of their seats for many years. They should get justice,” he also said.

Mr Adhikari also demanded that the CM, in his Independence Day speech, declare implementation of the 5th Pay Commission from 2016 onwards instead of 2017, otherwise explain his inability to do so.

He also cautioned the government against making any populist announcements given that an election cycle has begun.

Regarding Sikkim Krantikari Morcha’s celebration of Jan Unmukti Diwas on the release their party president PS Tamang [Golay] where he completed a prison term following conviction on corruption charges, Mr Adhikari said it was amazing to see the turnout, but it has also added responsibility on SKM to maintain and manage such turnouts in future as well.

Regarding Mr Tamang’s call for unity among opposition parties in 2019, Mr Adhikari said the HSP vice president Bhaichung Bhutia and other party leaders had met authorities in the State and also in the Centre prior to the release of Mr Tamang.

“We are sure the ministry concerned had given directions due to which no misconduct took place on that day. By doing so we have extended our hands and expecting the other side to extend theirs and unite,” he said.