Gangtok: Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) leader and former Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia has termed chief minister Prem Singh Golay’s trip to Delhi to be a disappointment to the people of Sikkim.

In a press statement issued by the footballer-turned-politician on Thursday, he said: “The Centre invited all the coalition leaders to meet the new Cabinet and the Prime Minister. It is unfortunate that Golay did not think of raising the demand for Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Sikkim.”

The recent implementation of One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme in the state was a great bargaining point for Golay to demand the ILP, said Bhutia.

“Most Northeast states having international borders already have ILP in place. Assam being a BJP-ruled state has not implemented the One Nation One Ration Card scheme due to heavy influx of Bangladeshi migrants,” he added.

“The fact is that our CM has virtually given New Delhi the green signal for further dilution of Article 371F in Sikkim, if not now, then surely in the longer run,” Bhutia said.

Also read | What will Sikkim govt do when migrants demand rights in 10 yrs: Pasang Sherpa on ONORC

Further commenting on ONORC, Bhaichung said: “I am sure that hardly any Sikkimese with proper Sikkimese documentation will take the benefit of claiming rations in other states. So why is the SKM govt misleading the people of Sikkim? The SKM govt knows that they are already guilty of diluting Revenue Order No. 1 and Article 371F.”

Bhutia said this was not the first time the Sikkim CM has made a trip to Delhi and gave several other demands in writing. “Unfortunately, he has never made these letters available in the public domain nor is the public aware of any official response to the letters submitted by him. It is evident from this trip that this government cannot be trusted to safeguard the interests of the Sikkimese people but continue to pursue their own benefit,” he lamented.

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