In recent times, few individuals with vested interests have been talking about the possibility of merger of Darjeeling with the state of Sikkim. Such discussions are continuing, even though no political party or group in Sikkim has ever paid heed to this idea. Instead, all the political parties and civil society members in Sikkim have been vehemently opposed to this completely unconscionable idea.In order to create chaos and further a wrongful agenda, the national daily “DainikJagaran” dated 17/09/21 has published a completely fabricated story, which is unfortunate for a paper of national repute. The paper mentions that the Home Minister Amit Shah recently had met some of the BJP MLA’s of Sikkim and discussed this matter. However, no such meeting between the MLAs and the Home Minister has taken place recently and even in past meetings, such matters were never discussed. Such irresponsible journalism can be a harbinger of misunderstanding and chaos in our otherwise very peaceful state and only reflects the malicious intent to disrupt the calm of the state. We vociferously deny the happening of any such meeting and strongly condemn the careless journalism of the aforementioned paper and assure that the hands behind such gas lighting content shall be held accountable.Media houses and journalists should understand the political sensitivity of the matter and even more so the larger impact it has on the national security and unison if a border state like Sikkim were to be in distress and disharmony. It is the prevailing atmosphere of calm and peace in the state in synergy with the trust and faith in the Central Government under the able leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been tirelessly working for the progress and development in all fronts which has strengthened the sentiments of integrity with the nation.Knowing well the honest emotions of the Sikkimese with respect to their culture and integrity and the yarn of Article 371 F that binds them together, the state BJP unit would like to once again reiterate that contrary to the allegations published, in a memorandum submitted to the Amit Shah while joining in 2019, the BJP MLA’s specified all the pending political and social demands for the state of Sikkim where one of the demands was “Preventing any alteration to the State’s boundary which existed during the 1975 accession as it would threaten the peace and security in the State due to it being an internationally sensitive border.” This was the stand taken by the State BJP unit, and the party remains very firm in its ideals.The Home Minister Sir Amit Shah has repeatedly mentioned and assured the Parliament that Article 371F will not be tampered with and Sikkim along with all the north-eastern states have nothing to worry about. In fact, BJP governments in the north-east have been focusing on holistic development, empowering indigenous population, respecting local sentiments, culture and ethos. It is because of this mutual trust between the state and centre and also the palpable outcomes of the efforts made to pan-develop all aspects of the north-eastern states along with the hope that it will only progressively continue in the coming years that the law and order in this part of the country stands as model and exemplary to the entire nation. At such a juncture, spreading misinformation with an underlying motive to bring about havoc in the existing harmonious conditions in the state is a highly viscous and condemnable act.The Sikkimese people have always shown solidarity with the Gorkhaland movement since its inception. Over the last 35 years, countless Gorkhas have given up their lives. The economic livelihood, social and cultural life of the entire hill districts have been paralysed and sacrificed for the cause, in the hope that their future generations can live and grow with an identity and honour. The Sikkimese people fully understand the sacrifices their brothers and sisters have made and have also sympathized and spoken for their them and even passed a bill in the Sikkim legislative assembly lending support.However, strategically involving Sikkim directly and controversially in this scenario by certain individuals with malicious and vested interests only serves the purpose of fearmongering in the minds of people, thus creating unrest and disharmony. The main concern remains that Sikkim is a sensitive border state with limited amount of habitable land. It is surrounded by foreign powers and the politics of the state has often been affected by the larger geopolitics on the international scale. Peace in the state has been achieved over the years through harmony between the various ethnic communities. This has made Sikkim a model state where communities have co-existed without disharmony. Therefore, the merger would act as a huge divisive force and bring instability and chaos in the presently peaceful state. Such sensitive issues have the ability to threaten the ethnic and geopolitical stability in the state and could create massive protests and worry in the minds of the people, which in turn will have a directly proportional effect on the national security and safety.Therefore, on behalf of all the BJP MLAs, I vociferously condemn fake news reports that can threaten the peace and stability of our state and national security of our country. We need to stand together to protect Sikkim and the interests of the people of Sikkim, and not promote individuals with vested interests.D.R ThapaBJP MLAUpper Burtuk Constituency
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