Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who recently joined Pawan Chamling's Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party on February 8 made predictions regarding the electoral fate of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) in the upcoming state assembly elections.
Bhutia cited his observations and data analysis to forecast that SKM's voter count would not surpass 50,000 in the 2024 elections.
Speaking with conviction, Bhutia stated his assessment drawing from his experience and insights garnered from various public gatherings and political events. He highlighted SKM's recent Foundation Day program, which reportedly saw around 10,000 attendees, as a key indicator. Bhutia extrapolated this figure adding an estimated 40,000 more potential supporters, yet concluded that SKM's electoral appeal would remain capped at 50,000 votes.
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Furthermore, Bhutia expressed concerns about the perceived dilution of Article 371, a constitutional provision safeguarding the interests of Sikkim's native population. He lamented the influx of outsiders into Sikkim's political landscape alleging that SKM had significantly contributed to this trend, echoing sentiments echoed by organizations like the Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC) and other NGOs advocating for the preservation of Sikkimese identity.
Recalling past electoral dynamics, Bhutia criticized the alleged practice of importing political recruiters from outside the state during previous elections, suggesting a continuation of this trend within SKM's ranks. He stressed the need to curb such practices stating the importance of prioritizing the interests of indigenous Sikkimese citizens.
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