GANGTOK: Footballer turned politician Bhaichung Bhutia on Thursday said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was against the "interest" of the indigenous people of Sikkim as well as article 371(F) of the Constitution which grants special status to the state.
Bhutia, who is the working president of Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) asked the state's ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) and the opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) to explain their alliance with the BJP after the latter rejected their concerns on the Citizens Amendment Bill passed by Parliament.
The legendary footballer expressed apprehension that there will be an influx of foreigners and people from other states in the Himalayan state once the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill becomes a law.
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"The future of next generation of Sikkimese people could be in danger once the CAB comes into force," the HSP leader.
He said, "Since the BJP-led government at the Centre has rejected the concerns of the SKM and SDF on the CAB and has gone ahead with getting this bill passed by the parliament, it will be interesting to know the stand of Sikkim's ruling and opposition parties as both are allies of the BJP in NEDA," he said in a statement.
"The people of Sikkim would like to know about what steps both the parties (SKM and SDF) take on alliance with the BJP post-CAB," Bhutia said.
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He suggested an agitation to prevent implementation of the proposed citizenship law in Sikkim and said that that it can't be left on the state legislative assembly to prevent the enforcement of the proposed law in Sikkim.
The SKM has repeatedly expressed reservation on CAB and its supremo Prem Singh Tamang had written a letter to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting the latter to keep the tiny border state out of the purview of the proposed citizenship law.
Both MPs from Sikkim - Indra Hang Subba (Lok Sabha, SKM) and Hishey Lachungpa (Rajya Sabha, SDF) - had opposed the CAB during debate on the said bill in the two houses of the Parliament.
The Sikkim Congress President Bharat Basnett has also slammed the CAB saying that it was against the interest of the Sikkimese people.
The SDF led by former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was yet to spell out its stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.