GANGTOK, 06 Feb:

A delegation of the United Sikkimese Forum [USF] submitted a memorandum to Governor, Ganga Prasad here at Raj Bhawantoday. The newly formed forum of different regional political parties of Sikkim has highlighted five different issues of Sikkim and urged the Governor to take immediate action upon the same.

The memorandum includes issues of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Chief Minister’s remarks on different communities and menstruation, RojgarMela and JantaMela, financial mismanagement in the government and organic mission.

Addressing a press conference here today, USF members said that the Governor has given positive assurance to look into the matter. They have also stated that USF will now start series of activities from next week onwards to press these issues.

The press conference was addressed by USF convener and MLA, RN Chamling, Sikkim SangramParishad president and former MP,DilKumariBhandari, Sikkim United Front president,NarendraAdhikari, Hamro Sikkim Party president, Dr BinaBasnett and Sikkim Subject Committee vice-convener, Nawin KiranPradhan.

The memorandum states that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is a direct threat to Article 371F and Sikkim Subject. The forum has also objected to Sikkim LokSabha MP, PD Raisupporting the said bill in the Parliament. According to the USF, the Bill in the present form will endanger the rights of the Sikkim Subject.

The delegation requested the Governor to apprise the Central Government that Sikkim, which already has a high number of migrants, cannot share the burden which is going to arise out of the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

The memorandum states that the Chief Minister’s remark on menstruation was sexual in content and outraged the modesty of women. The memorandum adds that the CM should have been booked under section 354 of the IPC for outraging the modesty of the women and under section 354A of the IPC for making remarks which were sexual in content against women. The memorandum further alleges that the speech of the CM on the same day had communal and divisive approach.

Accusing the SDF government of appeasement politics, the memorandum states that the recent RojgarMela was one such example in which 12,000 candidates were issued appointments letters with a condition No. 1 which clearly states, “The appointment is purely temporary and does not confer right to regular appointment”.

This procedure of appointing employees for public service is not only unconstitutional and illegal but moreover it jeopardizes the career of huge number of people by issuing arbitrary appointment letters with the sole intention to garner votes, it is added. On the same, the forum has stressed that all such appointments be made regular and not ‘temporary’ so that no controversies arise in future.

On financial mismanagement, the memorandum highlighted that according to the CAG Report for the year end March 2017, the Revenue receipt of the state of Sikkim was Rs. 4610.30 crore and out of these, Rs. 3506.10 was grants from GoI and share of Union Taxes and duties.

USF has said that the figure clearly shows that approximately 76% of the revenue receipt for the state of Sikkim was generated from the Union. The memorandum mentions that CAG states the total debt of the state till 2016-17 to be Rs. 4671.18 Cr and the expenditure alone on salary was 37.58% of the total revenue receipt of financial year 2016-17.

“The financial liability and the debt of the state is sharply increasing but on the other hand, the state government is wasting public exchequer money on unwanted projects, extravagant expenditure, appeasement politics mostly in connivance with unlawful, corrupt and illegal acts. We as a forum request Your Excellency to kindly check on the mismanagement of the State finances so that the state resources reaches the most-needy and to the people till the last,” the memorandum urges.

On organic mission, the memorandum demands that the state government compensate farmers for losses and subsidize organic products so that the common man can buy organic products.