Gangtok, 10 January: The Limboo-Tamang Voluntary Committee (LTVC) conducted a press conference to voice their concerns regarding the LT seat reservation promised by the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM). This is not a solitary event, as the committee has been vocal about this matter since the day of its inception and many press conferences have been held in their tireless attempts to get a concrete resolution from the government. However, this time, it seems as if only vocal assurances won’t be tolerated.
It was informed in the conference that the committee had given the government a time period of 100 days to initiate the basic procedure for seat reservation but have not been satisfied with the silence of the party on the same.
“With 7 months completion, we witnessed Monsoon & Winter Parliament Session, by-election and many SLA sessions, but we were disappointed not to hear a single word for LT seat reservation issue inside Parliament as well as in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly”, they complained.
The LTVC has raised pertinent questions on their part with regards to this issue. Their queries have been tabled – on why the formula for placing seat reservations to the Centre has not been made public, the exemption of discussion of this subject by the Member of Parliament, Indra Hang Subba during the Winter Parliament Session and the 10-member committee formed by the SKM party vide Memo No.897/SKM/2018 dated 22.12.18.
Since the belief is that the LT seat reservation was one of the main concerns of the SKM party while campaigning before the general elections, it has hurt the sentiments of the community when no tangible results have appeared. Although the ruling government has started the process to fulfil some of the promises made in their manifesto, they seem to have skipped out on the ones that were most relevant.
It is public knowledge that the party had rallied for this cause and been vociferous in their agreement with the LT community and their demands, which leads the LTVC to bring up the Limboo-Tamang seat Arakshan Yatra 26 June 2018 led by Sangha MLA, Sonam Lama, that promised to resolve this issue within 10 days after the formation of a new government.
They also mentioned a quote from the SKM party’s 2019 election manifesto, which reads:
“After the election of 2014, President of SKM Party Mr PS Golay along with his two Ministers on behalf of SKM party had visited Centre to apprise on political seat reservation of Limbu & Tamang communities. Due to the previous Govt’s faulty proposal of formulas and contradictory statements to the centre, it is a known fact that Limbu & Tamang were deprived of their rights. Had the previous Govt. submitted a rational seat formula to the centre, then by now these two communities would have been enjoying their political rights in a democratic manner. During our official visit to Centre on this issue, we can say with full confidence that the delay was because of state govt’s failure to provide the Centre with a rational formula. We are not saying this on our own but we were informed on this issue by the govt officials and were informed several times that we are sent irrational seat formula every time by the state govt. Within these 5 years, we had built a good rapport with the Centre and by approaching them consistently on LT demand they had given us the assurance that once SKM govt comes into power, the Centre will grant LT communities their political rights. Our honesty and sincerity were appreciated by the Centre and we were assured that if we maintain this towards LT communities, we will be granted seat very soon. Honesty, Sincerity and dedication is SKM party’s recognition and life therefore we will fight to get LT seat anyhow in SLA. We promise by the name of our Sikkim motherland that until and unless we do not bring seat reservation for the deprived LT communities in SLA we won’t take rest”.
The members of the LTVC also informed that after the general elections, they had met Prem Singh Golay, the Chief Minister, to submit a copy of their memorandum and request a quick solution to the seat reservation issue.
They believe that it is time for the new government “to prove their sincerity towards their given promise to LT communities for LT seat reservation”.
Since the party is also in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is ruling the Centre, the members of the committee believe that a resolution would be passed without much hassle if the government pursued the agenda with vigour.
“Limbu and Tamang communities will not wait for another 5 yrs. No one should think of fooling LT now. If LT seat issue is not addressed at the earliest then it is a great betrayal for LT communities and another curse for SKM party,” reads the press release.