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BJP MLAs question government on LT seat reservation in Assembly session

On the second day of the sixth session of Sikkim Legislative Assembly BJP legislator NK Subba, Maneybong Dentam constituency  during the question hour raised a question to the state government on the formula for reservation of Limboo-Tamang seat in Sikkim Assembly.

“Whether the seat reservation will happen from the existing 32 seats or a new formula will be adopted?” asked Subba

In reply, the chief Minister Prem Singh Golay replied that the process of Limboo- Tamang seat reservation started in 2002-03 and that the SKM Government has raised its concern and have been appraising the union govt time and again on the issue.

He added, “The SKM government has raised the concern with the Union Government, the tribal affairs Ministry time and again. There is need for collective effort rather than individualistic approach. It is the issue of the Sikkimese people and we are hopeful that the Central government will take up the matter. The delimitation of constituencies is yet to happen and there is a need for constituency deliberation”.

 “The committees had been formed for LT seat reservation led by Member of Parliament for Lok Sabha Indra Hang Subba and also for the 12 left out communities for on tribal status recognition led which is being led by TN Dhakal.” Informed CM.

However, Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay made no mention on question asked by legislator NK Subba on any  formula.

In the round of question hour,  BJP legislator Dilli Ram Thapa raised a question to Social Welfare Minister MK Sharma on the steps taken by the State Government to provide LT seat reservation in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.

Adding to the question, Thapa further  questioned on  steps taken by the State government to include 12 left out communities in Tribal category.

In reply, MK Sharma Minister for Social Welfare Department quoted  series of dates  of  meetings which took place  with the Union government leaders including that with the with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 11, 2021.

“We have made multiple visits for deliberation with the central leaders including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They have assured that the matter is under consideration. We are all prepared to get things done, but the matter is part of priority consideration by the Union Government”. Minister Sharma said

Upper Burtuk constituency legislator DR Thapa suggested that BJP legislators are ready to extend support on the LT and tribal status issues.

He said “These are the two biggest political issues of the State. We are ready to extend any support and make representation collectively”.

Sonam Tshering Venchungpa, Martam-Rumtek constituency’s BJP  legislator in his validatorory speech  highlighted how the SDF led government missed out on the 2006 delimitation process which would have helped Limboo-Tamang get seat reservation in Assembly.

He said, “When I speak for Limboo-Tamang community, do not see me the representative of Bhutia community but consider me as Sikkimese.  The 2006 delimitation was perhaps the right time to get the seat reservation for Limboo-Tamang communities. But either it was through design or by accident, we failed to secure the seat reservation. It was a burning issue then, it is still in discussion today. If there is a representation to be made to the central government, we must do it all collectively”.

After the session addressing the media, Venchungpa stated, “In 2006 when the delimitation commission  was under Justice Kuldeep Singh, delimitation happened and if SDF government was serious would have already got the Limboo-Tamang seat reservation. Then SDF government legislators were members of the delimitation commission too. Justice Kuldeep Singh was merely the Chairman. If those members had pressed seriously for the reservation the left out communities would have got the tribal status. It would have been easier. For years this has been an injustice to the Limboo-Tamang communities. It is miscarriage of justice”.

 “Formula is not the solution, it cannot be done only by the state  government. There are provisions for the reservation to happen within 32 seats as well as with the increase in seat in Assembly. It can be any number. But it has to be under the guidelines and parameters, whether it is feasible or not. Central and State government both have norms. Number as such is not important. Consensus has to be built and if the issues were dealt with at the right time in the past, we would not have faced this situation. If there is an agreement from central government, State can only request, when the central government agrees to give seat reservation then comes the issue of formula” Venchungpa added

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