CAP to hold dharna at Jantar Mantar, petitions Governor for special Assembly discussions

Friday, Feb 03, 2023 07:30 [IST]

Last Update: Friday, Feb 03, 2023 02:01 [IST]

CAP to hold dharna at Jantar Mantar, petitions Governor for special Assembly discussions


Both past and present CMs equally responsible: Ganesh
GANGTOK,: The newly launched Citizen Action Party (CAP) on Thursday staged a daylong dharna in front of DAC, Sichey here on Thursday demanding remedial measures against a recent Supreme Court verdict that saw striking down of ‘Sikkimese’ word and Sikkimese Nepali referred as persons of ‘foreign origin’.

Speaking to media, CAP leader Ganesh Rai said the observations by the apex court is a grave threat to the Sikkimese and could threaten the special privileges and protection given to them under Article 371F.

“Despite such ominous threat to our existence as Sikkimese, the State government is still in a slumber and not serious about it. The State government is busy carrying forward its political agenda and till date, no discussion or an emergency Assembly session has been called,” said Rai.

Rai maintained that a special Assembly session should be called on this serious matter concerning the Sikkimese. “The Chief Minister is taking this matter lightly and talking about only a review petition. The State government and the Chief Minister must understand that it is not easy to file a review petition,” he said.

“Has the Chief Minister read the judgment in its entirety? Does he know where the verdict has caused damage to Sikkim and Sikkimese?” questioned Rai.

The CAP leader blamed both the present and past Chief Ministers for the present anguish caused to the people of Sikkim. Due to their wrong leadership, the special rights and privileges of Sikkim and Sikkimese are being diluted, he said. He asked both the ruling SKM and opposition SDF to stop their blame game.

Rai said the CAP, through its dharna, also extends support to the movement launched by the Joint Action Committee. He informed that CAP plans to hold a dharna in Jantar Mantar, Delhi on the issue.

We feel that the Law minister is also equally responsible and he should be removed for his post or he should resign on moral grounds, said Rai.

We are not against the income tax exemption extended to the old settlers but we will not allow our special privileges be diluted for it, asserted the CAP leader.

Later in the day, a CAP delegation reached Raj Bhawan to submit a memorandum to Governor Ganga Prasad. As the Governor was out of station, the CAP representation was received by the Raj Bhawan secretariat.

In its memorandum, the CAP highlighted the deep concerns and public discontentment as the apex court has observed the Sikkimese Nepali community to be foreigners besides widening the definition of Sikkimese to include those individuals who have settled in Sikkim prior to the merger.

That under such circumstances we request your kind indulgence to invoke powers under Article 371F (g) to ensure peace and security of the State of Sikkim by doing the needful as per the aforestated circumstances and further thus exercise powers under Article 174 of the Constitution of India and summon the members of State Legislative Assembly to have a special legislative discussion, the CAP requested.

The CAP sought that the special Assembly session should pass a resolution condemning use of such words against the Sikkimese Nepalis and have a substantive discussion and future course of action in order to safeguard the rights and interest of the Sikkimese as defined under the Sikkim Subject Regulation, 1961.

The CAP also requested that the Governor directs the State government to bring “white paper” on the whole issue and made public for the people of Sikkim.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi