Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Gangtok (Sikkim) [India], September 14 (ANI): Former Indian footballer and politician Bhaichung Bhutia on Wednesday said that every north-eastern state has expressed their opinion on the Uniform Civil Court (UCC), but Sikkim's Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang is maintaining silence on it, and this can be a "threat" for the people of Sikkim, he said.

Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, Bhutia said, "Without any debate in the Assembly, 'One Nation, One Ration Card' was applied, and every northeastern state has commented on UCC, but CM Prem Singh Tamang and his government have not uttered a single word on the same. So I think for Sikkim, it's a big threat.""Obviously, we know about the kind of violence that has happened under the SKM (Sikkim Krantikari Morcha) government, and also in terms of corruption, I think it's gone 100 times more than what it used to be," he asserted.

The development comes as Bhaichung Bhutia's Hamro Sikkim Party is preparing to merge with the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party, which is the main opposition party in the state and is led by former chief minister Pawan Chamling.

"There are still some leaders to meet, and the merger of two parties will not happen immediately; it will take time. I have not fixed a date to join SDF or merge yet; that will happen after a thorough discussion," he told ANI.

Bhaichung, who was serving as the working president of the Hamro Sikkim Party, has served as the face of the party since 2018, unsuccessfully contesting the 2019 elections. At the previous election, Bhaichung had supported the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha and even held a meeting with current Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang in the run-up to the 2019 election.

Bhutia claimed, "We were all in support of Parivartan's promise made by Prem Singh Golay in 2019. We tactically fielded candidates where the SKM had weaker candidates in constituencies. We wanted the Parivartan as much as SKM did. However, in these 4 years, the Parivartan has failed under Golay and SKM. They are now full of corrupt leaders and businessmen who, in the past, ruined 25 years of ruling the SDF party".

The debate over the implementation of UCC is once again gaining momentum as the union government has called a Special Parliament Session from September 18 to September 22. As of now, there has been no announcement from the Centre's side about what the special session is about, but it is widely speculated that the ruling BJP is likely to propose a 'One Nation, One Election', UCC or women reservation bill.

On Tuesday, the Nagaland Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution urging the state to be exempted from the purview of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that it would "pose a threat" to the state's customary laws, social practices, and religious practices. (ANI)

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