Gangtok: Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay took a jibe at Bhaichung Bhutia by stating that it is stupid to question the construction of a hospital.
The statement from the Chief Minister at Mining Cricket ground on Sunday comes after Hamro Sikkim Party Working President Bhutia had questioned the government on the urgency of constructing the 500-bed Namchi District Hospital.
Bhaichung Bhutia’s statement slamming the government for compromising the space for a playground in Namchi met fierce criticism, with his effigy burnt on June 9 at Central Park in Namchi. The ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party has also slammed Bhaichung on raising the question of Hospital construction.
Also Read: Watch: Why was Bhaichung Bhutia’s effigy burned in Sikkim?
CM Golay, who was attending an event organised by Sikkim Cricket Association, stated, “The question to be asked would be if a Minister constructed a hotel in these two years. But to question hospital construction which is for the public is stupid. I do consider it to be stupid, even if the person is well-read. Tomorrow, the pandemic could get worse, so should we keep waiting for a hospital to be constructed? Should we take (patients) to Siliguri? Our patients must not rely on Siliguri, those who can afford that can fly anywhere for treatment. But the poor cannot go. Those who have not seen poverty or the troubles of the poor, those who have no experience as such, will raise such questions”.
The concern for the playground as pointed by the former Indian Football Captain was countered by the ruling front highlighting the upcoming Bhaichung Stadium in Namchi, which is being built as a tribute to Bhutia, a Padma Shri awardee.
The project started under the former Sikkim Democratic Front government was stalled for many years until the SKM government revived the project. Speaking about the Bhaichung Stadium, Golay stated, “The former Alley ground was remodelled as Bhaichung Stadium, but when Bhaichung entered politics, the former Chief Minister (Pawan Kumar Chamling) stalled the project for years. But as soon as we came to the government, we didn’t see his political affiliation but on a war footing, we worked on the construction of the Stadium. It is ready for inauguration now, but we have been marred by the pandemic. We wanted to rope in Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju for the inauguration. But due to the pandemic, it couldn’t happen”.
Slamming the SDF for stalling the project out of animosity for Bhaichung Bhutia, Golay revealed, “When I was the sports minister under SDF government in 2004, the former Chief Minister wanted to change the name of Bhaichung Stadium. The reason he sorted was that Bhaichung aided the Congress party in Dzongu in the 2004 elections. I was ordered by the former CM to change the name. But I stalled his decision even then, and since then, the project was stalled under the SDF regime for all these years”.
He requested the cricketers at the Mining ground, to not just earn a personal name but to also divulge the good name of the State and the country. “Not just promote your name but contribute for the benefit of the state,” he added.
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