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Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on 11th June warned former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia not to give him lessons on administration.

“He (Bhaichung) is saying that arrears (of 5th Pay Commission) should be given in one go. Who is he to teach me? He is trying to instigate the government employees. He never thought of the Sikkim government employees when he was playing football. The government employees know how much our government has been taking care of them. We have also given income tax exemption to them. The government employees know when and how the arrears should be released,” said the Chief Minister. He was addressing the public of Upper Burtuk constituency at Khelgaon, Reshithang as part of his ongoing Sikkim Jan Sewa Jan Samman Yatra.

The Hamro Sikkim Party, had yesterday demanded that the arrears of the 5th Pay Commission is released to the government employees at one go instead of the three instalments as proposed by the State government. Bhaichung is the vice president of the party and he had also asked the employees to come forward to seek their rights as due under the Pay Commission. Strongly criticising Bhaichung, the Chief Minister accused the former Indian international of playing politics in Sikkim for outsiders.

“He is now playing politics in Sikkim as he has become old and cannot play football. Earlier he used to play for Bengal clubs for fee and now he is playing politics for a Delhi team. He is playing for Delhi and not for Sikkim and Sikkimese people. He has two owners in Delhi, I do not have any owner outside Sikkim. My owner is within Sikkim and they are the Sikkimese people. I only listen to the people of Sikkim,” said the Chief Minister.

In course of his three-hour long speech, the Chief Minister also commented on the issue of the Sherpa community not included in the newly passed land regulation and transfer bill. The Denzong Sherpa Association yesterday had said the Sherpa community was betrayed by the State government as their lands were not given due protection like other communities of Sikkim and under Revenue Order No.1.

Chamling pointed out that the Revenue Order No. 1 is an old law of Sikkim and made during the Chogyal regime for protection of Bhutia-Lepcha lands. It is an old law of Sikkim and protected under the Constitution of India and there is no mention of Sherpa community in the Revenue Order No. 1, he said. I have to follow the written order, he said adding that he has clearly explained about the matter during the Assembly session on Saturday.

He added that the State government can only make law for purchase and sale of Sherpa lands within the Sherpa community.

With the Assembly elections taking place next year, the Chief Minister said anti-social elements are coming to politics with the objective of being the next Chief Minister of Sikkim. “What will happen to Sikkim if such person becomes the Chief Minister? People need Parivartan but it should be for good and not for destruction. If there is another better party than SDF (Sikkim Democratic Front) then it is good. But do not ruin Sikkim just for the sake of change or thinking that this party has been in power for a long time. Judge which party can serve the people of Sikkim more,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the SDF government and party are always accused by the opposition parties of fragmenting the Sikkimese in name of caste and community. “They (opposition) party never tells on how the Sikkimese community can be united. Even the State BJP makes the same allegation but their party is at the Central government. Why can’t their Central government give tribal status for the 11 left-out communities of Sikkim? Many issues would be solved if the demand of the Sikkimese people is fulfilled,” he said.

The Chief Minister also highlighted the measures initiated by the SDF government for the empowerment of Sikkimese women. We are also thinking of opening a women’s company in the Sikkim Armed Police, he said. Chamling pointed out that Sikkim has a population of only 6 lakh and all communities in the State are living in harmony and development under the SDF government. “All the opposition parties in Sikkim want to cause hatred among the communities in name of caste and religion. They want to do away with the local protection laws of the Sikkimese,” he said.