Gangtok: Following Bhaichung Bhutia‘s statement that “the SKM wanted to appoint a chief minister from the Chettri-Bahun community in 2019”, the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) party has accused the former football legend of trying to create “communal differences between the people of Sikkim”.

SKM party’s spokesperson Jacob Khaling at a press conference on Wednesday said, “Bhaichung Bhutia is not Sikkimese but communal, he is showing his real intentions by trying to create difference between the people of Sikkim with communal statements. He is trying to instigate riots and bloodshed in the state with his statement.”

Bhaichung Bhutia at a press conference on August 14

SKM refuted Bhaichung’s claim that the party was lobbying for a chief minister from the Chettri-Bahun community and a deputy chief minister from the Bhutia-Lepcha community.

Bhaichung, on August 14, had claimed that he would come up with evidence to prove the same in the next 15-20 days.

Khaling stated, “As claimed by Bhaichung, the SKM wanted a Chettri-Bahun chief minister. We assure you that our 2019 manifesto had nowhere mentioned anything as such. On March 23, 2019, when the final list of candidates was declared, it clearly mentions that our chief ministerial candidate was Prem Singh Tamang (Golay). There was no mention of any community for the post of chief minister or deputy chief minister.”

Khaling further asserted that the SKM has been trying to create communal harmony instead of communal discord for the past three years.

The document that claims SKM wanted a CM from Chettri Bahun community has now gone viral on social media

“Bhaichung is trying to destroy the communal harmony that we have created, he is trying to break Sikkim’s unity. He has shown his hidden agenda of being communal. We will not let Sikkim break under him. He has no love for Sikkim, the only reason he is active in politics now in Sikkim is because he was rejected twice by West Bengal in electoral politics from Darjeeling and Siliguri where he contested and lost. He is a rejected leader,” Khaling added.

On Bhaichung’s claim of collaboration with SKM in 2019, the party countered, “Our party president met with Bhaichung Bhutia in 2019 before the elections but he didn’t want to contest together. Wherever we were expected to win, his Hamro Sikkim Party floated a candidate to dent our voter bank. He wanted the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) to win. In the Tumin Lingee constituency where he contested from, he didn’t aid SKM but ensured that we lost from that constituency. He was on the side of communal politics. He was trying to be the opposition then but in reality, you were aiding the SDF. The SDF and HSP are both spreading communal poison among people.”

SKM also challenged Bhaichung to come out with proof of his claim between August 29 to September 3, failing which, the SKM threatened him with a defamation suit.

However, social media in the state is buzzing with an SKM released document dated April 2019, which clearly mentions that the chief minister was to be from the Chettri-Bahun community in case Prem Singh Golay was not appointed the Chief Minister of Sikkim.

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