The rally at Gangtok District saw politicians and social activists from different organisations come together and raise a unanimous voice that screamed “justice” to the SC observation, which according to many political parties and organisations, “erroneously” overlooked the definitions and tags that hurt Sikkimese sentiments. This was following verdict on the IT exemption petition by AOSS, the petition which was observed and had contained the said “hurtful” and “ignorant” words/definitions.
JAC recently has opposed the tag of foreign origin to the Sikkimese Nepali community in the recent observation that lead to the verdict of Supreme Court on IT exemption to old settlers. As well as the threat looming around the definition of ‘Sikkimese’, which has been the catalyst to the recent reactions and actions by different political and social organisations.
Addressing the gathering, Keshav Sapkota, General Secretary, JAC demanded the state government to take necessary steps. He said, “The government has to call emergency legislative assembly within 7 days or else we will do statewide ‘hartal’ (strike).”
In addition, Sapkota also demanded the state government to sack Sudesh Joshi from the post of Additional AG within 7 days.
The rally also saw participation of SKM party cadre in which spokesperson of the party Jacob Khaling was also present.
Speaking with Sikkim Chronicle on his presence, Khaling said, “This issue is of Sikkim and it’s people, we have to rise above party and take part in this initiative. Today in this particular rally we all have risen from party level and kept aside our political differences and took part in this rally.”
Likewise, Rupen Karki General Secretary, SPYF said, “SPYF had already given its clear stand on the issue. This is ‘Jan-Andolan’ (People’s fight) so we want this andolan to pave its way and give justice.”
DR Thapa, BJP Legislator said, “This rally is above all political parties, rather this rally is of Sikkimese people. Whatever has happened shouldn’t have happened. Now this fight is of all Sikkimese, all should come together and fight this rally at streets, Parliament, assembly and everywhere possible.”
TN Dhakal, Political Advisor to Chief Minister was also seen during the rally, Dhakl was nominated as the President of the JAC. however, after few days he resigned from the post of the President.
Addressing the media at rally, Dhakal said, “JAC is a non political organization, I am vice-president of SKM party due to which I gave my resignation. But for this issue in future I will be the first one to take stand.”
Following to the day long rally from Deorali to Bhanu-path saw presence of various individuals from different organisations. However only two MLAs; DR Thapa, Sonam Vhenchungpa both of BJP party only took part in the JAC rally.
The pressing issue which kindled this solidarity rally that saw participation from all spectrums of polity and social groups, was not only because of the observation of the SC that deemed Sikkimese Nepalis as foreigners but the definition of Sikkimese that caused major hurt and a nuance of a threat to the special status of Sikkim.