Bhaichung Bhutia launches own political party ‘Hamro Sikkim’

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New Delhi: Former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia, on April 26, launched his political party “Hamro Sikkim” at the Press Club of India here.
“Hamro Sikkim is dedicated to people of Sikkim. There are lot of policies that young generation like us feel isn’t going right. We want to make sure everybody is included into decision making,” said Bhutia.
There has been speculation that Bhaichung would form a new party after he reportedly fell out with the Mamata Banerjee-led party following the Gorkhaland protests in Darjeeling. The protests by Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Janmukti Morcha brought the hills to a standstill and led to a 104-day standoff with the Bengal government. Bhaichung was apparently not happy with the TMC government’s handling of the situation.
Saying that it was important for “good people” to come forward to clean the dirt out of politics, Bhaichung made it clear that his sole focus would be development of Sikkim. “I hope my joining politics will inspire youngsters in Sikkim and rest of the country. Whatever you do today is through policies made by political leaders. It’s easy to criticise them but it is important that good people come forward and get into the dirty part and clean it,” the Arjuna awardee said.
The hill state is presently being ruled by Sikkim Democratic Front and five-term Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who has virtually faced no proper opposition till now. Bhaichung’s political front may pose challenges to the SDF in the Assembly elections next year. The former footballer made it clear that corruption, unemployment and drug menace in Sikkim would be the main planks his party would focus on. “Corruption, unemployment, high suicide rates, youngsters into drugs/alcohol and lack of leadership in the state are some of the key issues for me,” he said.

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