Sikkim’s lone member of the parliament, Indra Hang Subba has been people’s apple of the eye lately. However, of him trending in the news has been since many months, much before he was elected as the MP. With all eyes set on him and high hopes rested upon him, the 30 year old lad from west Sikkim has been creating a stir.
Being fielded in as the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha’s (SKM) parliamentary candidate itself made waves in the state. After having won over Sikkim Democratic Front’s (SDF) DB Katwal with over 11,000 votes, Subba stood to take oath on June 18, 2019. With the video of him pledging in Nepali language during the oath taking ceremony going viral among the Sikkimese, Darjeeling Hills and the Nepali speaking community spread all over, the MP garnered much respect and appreciation.
Subba followed by Darjeeling MP, Raju Bista took the oath in Nepali, which was for the very first time that MP(s) in India stuck to Nepali language during such prestigious ceremony. It may be recalled that Nepali language was included in the eighth schedule by the seventy first Amendment Act 1992.
On the evening of June 25, Subba delivered his maiden speech in the parliament which was again well accorded by the excited and anticipated masses in the Himalayan region.
The speech which was not only limited to Sikkim started off by appreciating the various schemes framed by the BJP led government and applauded for all the initiatives taken by the union government . His speech further reflected the prevailing circumstances of the entire Northeastern region of India.
The MP highlighted on the recently approved pension scheme for small shopkeepers, retail traders which assures a minimum monthly pension of ₹3000 per month to small shopkeepers, retail traders and the self-employed people after attaining the age of 60 years, which he feels would benefit the shopkeepers and traders, especially residing in the rural and scarcely populated regions of Sikkim and northeast, which ultimately shall provide a sense of security.
He also stressed on how the states in northeast region of India are undergoing water crisis. He added how water conservation is an international agenda and water scarcity is not just an issue of northern and southern plains of India but it has now emerged to be a alarming concern for the people living in the hills of the north and the northeastern area of the nation too. He further added how creation of the Ministry of Jal Shakti is a decisive step and thus its implementation will help the regions of northeast resolve the water crisis at earliest.
It may be noted that the new ministry has been formed by merging the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation which aims to provide clean drinking water as well as fight India’s water woes.
“The proposed establishment of National Research Foundation is yet another applaudable initiative,” added Subba.
“It shall help the nation become self reliant and the foundation can help in developing an indigenous technology which shall cater rapid growth and sustainable development in the country,” he stressed.
Further speaking on the ‘Khelo India’ programme of the government of India, he highlighted the mass of the sportspersons from Sikkim and northeast India. He mentioned on how Khelo India programme can discover more sportspersons like Bhaichung Bhutia, Mary Kom, Jayanta Talukdar, Shiva Thapa, Tarundeep Rai, Nirmal Chettri, Sanju Pradhan and many more from the northeast region.
The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
The MP also stressed about how the programme should develop world class sports facilities in India and remain accessible to the youths of nation.
“Northeast India is known for its natural beauty but at the same time it is also known for its poor connectivity, so we look forward with the Bharatmala Project that the connectivity of our northeastern region will be made better than ever before”, said Subba before concluding his speech.
Bharatmala Project is a new umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimising efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like development of Economic Corridors, Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes, National Corridor Efficiency Improvement, Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Green-field expressways.
The MP also applauded the government for increasing the national defence fund for the children of soldiers which he formed as a noble act and also appreciated the steps taken to include police personnel in the beneficiary of NDF which he confirmed to be an emphatic gesture of the government.
His speech despite of being just for 3 minutes reflected the need of attention from the government of India towards the people of Sikkim and other northeastern region. His short highlights confirmed the anticipation he and the people of this region holds towards the government of India and expressed the need for desired development through the programmes, polices and schemes that he highlighted.
The journey of the new MP in the parliament has just begun. Speculations are that Subba would fulfil the long pending demands of the state of Sikkim. The issue of Limboo Tamang seat reservation, granting of scheduled tribe status to 11 left out communities, Companies Act and Karmapa issue are the imperative ones in the long list.
With an opening at the parliament much liked and welcomed by the people in Sikkim, Subba’s journey will gradually unfold the hopes and aspirations of over 6 lacs citizens of the state.