Debbarma reiterates Cong commitment to safeguarding Article 371F To tamper with it is akin to trigge

Gangtok, 08 Oct:

All India Congress Committee [AICC] secretary in-charge of Sikkim, Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma, stressed today that the Congress has been consistently committed to safeguarding the spirit of the Article 371F provided to Sikkim by the Constitution of India.

He further assured that the party would always remain dedicated to protect and fight for the rights and privileges of the Sikkimese people.

Mr Debbarma is presently in Sikkim, his first visit since being appointed the secretary in-charge of the State by the AICC.

Upon arrival here, he held discussions with leaders, workers and office bearers of the frontal organisations of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee on the various issues facing Sikkim.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Debbarma pointed out that it was the Congress which provided the Constitutional guarantees to Sikkim in the form of the Article 371F.

On the same, he asserted that the Congress would always remain committed to protecting and safeguarding the special status provided by the constitutional provision and will not support its dilution in any manner.

He further mentioned that dilution of the special provisions extended to Sikkim would create complications for the State.

He stressed that the special status assured to Sikkim need to be continued in the interest of the people here.

Mr Debbarma also mentioned that the Congress fully supports reservation of seats for Sikkimese Nepalis in the State Assembly. He mentioned that the party has been committed to raising this issue in the Parliament and restoring this political right of the Sikkimese Nepalis which it understands is essential for strengthening the social fabric of Sikkimese society and maintaining communal harmony which has prevailed here for generation.

He stated that the ongoing influx in Sikkim would dilute the interests of Sikkimese people and that further influx would put the demography and interests of the people of Sikkim in danger.

Responding to media queries, Mr Debbarma mentioned that all national parties and the State government have been responsible for the dilution of the Article 371F.

“We will go to the highest authority of the country to amend the dilution of the Article 371F,” he said.

He stated that to tamper the Article 371F was like triggering a time bomb.

He believes that while tampering may give some temporary solutions, it would however create lots of problems for Sikkim in the long run.

Mr Debbarma expressed that the priority of the party was to work continuously for the protection of the people of Sikkim. He said he will be visiting Sikkim again after this Durga Puja and travel to all four districts of the State.

“We will now speak on local issues of Sikkim consistently in the State and in the Parliament and reach out to the people at the grassroots level. We want to make our position stronger as we have willingness to work for the people of Sikkim,” he said.

He informed that SPCC will soon reopen all its district offices. He also urged the youth and people from different walks of life to come forward if they want to work in the interest of Sikkim and its people.

SPCC president, Bharat Basnet thanked the AICC president, Rahul Gandhi for appointing the AICC secretary in-charge and All India Mahila Congress secretary in-charge of Sikkim, Jarjum Ete from the North East region for the first time.

He expressed that it would be easier for a State in-charge from the north-east region to understand the regional issues of the State and to work on the same.