Gangtok: Surrender your passport, if you oppose the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme, said Sikkim CM PS Golay upon his return to the state.
Golay met several Union ministers, including PM Narendra Modi, during his 10-day visit to Mumbai and New Delhi.
“They make foreign tours, but oppose a welfare scheme directed to the poor in the country,” referring to the opposition leaders who have been sharply reacting to the One Nation One Ration Card scheme saying that it will violate Article 371F of the Indian Constitution and open migrant settlements in the state.
“Those who eat costly varieties of rice are the ones opposing ONORC, claiming it will hamper Article 371F, they are the ones who do not understand what poverty means,” the Sikkim CM added.
Golay said, how in his absence, the opposition parties were ‘making a political issue out of a non-issue’ over the recent implementation of One Nation One Ration Card in Sikkim.
According to the Sikkim CM, One Nation One Ration Card will not dilute Article 371F. “I am the chief minister of Sikkim and it is my solemn promise to the people that we will not allow any dilution of the old laws of Sikkim. No work will be undertaken that would undermine Article 371F or our Sikkimese people. ONORC doesn’t confer any other right to the people, our own people working in other states will merely get their ration share, the same way the migrant workers here in Sikkim will get theirs. They cannot register a new ration card here in Sikkim,” he added.
Shifting the focus on illegal ration cards issued during the previous Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) regime, Golay said: “ONORC will help check influx in Sikkim, while ration distribution which had corruption in deliverance will be curbed.”
On the demands of a special Assembly session to be called as proposed by various opposition parties, Golay clarified that there is no need for it over a welfare scheme.
“Why call for a debate in the Assembly when the One Nation One Ration Card scheme is for the welfare of Sikkimese people? It doesn’t harm our people or Article 371F. Such demands are being placed by people who do not come for Assembly sessions. That is where the real question lies,” said Golay referring to the absence of the leader of the opposition, former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, in every Assembly session under the Golay regime.
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