SIKKIM NEWS: CM ‘for Sikkimese’ raps Cong

SIKKIM NEWS: CM ‘for Sikkimese’ raps Cong – well that’s the nature of politics, the belief of ‘confusion’ or just sabre rattling for the sake of political rhetoric and mileage ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Gangtok, Dec. 2: The chief minister has said the distribution of residential certificates to non-Sikkimese people staying in Sikkim since April 26, 1975, is meant to stem the influx of outsiders to the state and accused Opposition parties of misleading common people.

Pawan Chamling has come down heavily on his rivals at a time state Congress president Nar Bahadur Bhandari is carrying out a month-long campaign against the distribution of the RCs.

“The opposition parties in Sikkim are trying to mislead the common people that Sikkim subject certificate is being threatened by the RC. We will protect those holding the Sikkim subject certificates. At the same time, we want to do justice to old settlers through the RCs,” the chief minister told a gathering at Reshi Secondary School in West Sikkim on Tuesday.

Sikkim subject certificates were awarded to the people of the state during the reign of the Chogyals. People holding the certificates are considered “Sikkimese” and the documents are passed on to descendants. The Sikkim subject certificate holders enjoy certain privileges like exemption from the payment of income tax.

While attending the platinum jubilee celebration of Temi Senior Secondary School in South Sikkim yesterday, the chief minister accused the Opposition of indulging in the “politics of “lies”.

“The RC will not put the Sikkim subject certificate in danger. The RC is the main weapon to stop the influx of outsiders to Sikkim. We have kept the cut-off year as 1975 for the RC. How can this bring insecurity to Sikkim? The government has taken a correct decision in the interest of the original residents and old settlers,” said Chamling.

Launching his campaign to demand the withdrawal of the RCs at Pakyong bazaar in East Sikkim yesterday, Bhandari said: “We have come to the people to tell them that RCs are against the interest of the Sikkimese. If the people do not oppose it now, then their rights will be taken away by outsiders. We must join hands to force the state government to withdraw the RCs.”

“The SDF government wants to give RCs to outsiders because it wants to get votes from them in the next Assembly elections in 2014. The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front has understood that it will not get votes from the real Sikkimese,” said Bhandari.

The Congress had announced that it would organise a meeting at Namthang in South Sikkim today as part of the campaign. But the programme could not be held as authorities refused to grant permission to the party to use the public address system.

Meetings have been planned at Rhenock, Singtam and Rongli in East district, Geyzing and Soreng in West Sikkim and Jorethang in South Sikkim before the campaign ends in Gangtok on December 26.

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