Gangtok, 22 Dec:
Under fire for leaving out mention of the Nepali community in his comments during a TV news debate on the Citizenship Amendment Act, Bhaichung Bhutia, while accepting that statement was “debatable,” insisted that there was no communal slant in it and explained it to the limited time available in a TV debate format which does not allow for elaborate explanations and details.
Addressing a press conference here today, the Hamro Sikkim Party working president stressed that his comments need to seen in the context of the question asked.
The comment, he said, was made in the context of the minorities of the State and was not a comment on the indigenous people of the State per se.
He, however accepted, that the information provided by him in was debatable but insisted that there was no communal aspect to it.
“The data placed during my interview may be wrong and is debatable, but I have surely not made any communal statement during the whole telecast,” he said.
The television format, he pointed out, allows very limited time and one is pressed to accommodate everything in that limited time, he added.
Mr Bhutia has urged people to go through the entire discussion to understand the context and urged people not to jump to conclusions based on what he called “rumours being spread by some vested interests.”
Claiming that he was the “most secular person,” he said that he has always raised his voice in the Centre with regard to the interests of all the people of Sikkim.
He also informed that during a recent meeting with the Union Home Minister, he had raised various issues related to the implementation of CAA in Sikkim, re-verification of COI, and other issues related the State.
He said that his party will now form a committee to discuss various issues and frame a memorandum which will then be submitted to the Union Government.