Chamling should publicly clarify Nepal citizen allegations: SNPP

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Gangtok, Nov 05 (UNI) Raising afresh the issue of allegations of Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling being a citizen of Nepal, the Sikkim National People's Party (SNPP) today demanded Mr Chamling to publicly clarify the allegations.

''The Chief Minister should publicly clarify whether he is a Nepal citizen or not as it is alleged. He should not let other persons make statements on his behalf,'' SNPP president Biraj Adikhari said here in a press meet.

A fringe organisation, in September, had burnt the effigy of Mr Chamling at Siliguri in West Bengal, alleging him to be a citizen of Nepal. This led the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) to call a Sikkim bandh on September 29 in protest against the accusations.

''The Chief Minister should also publicly disclose his Sikkim Subject certificate and its antecedents. Merely calling a bandh does not mean the issue is finished,'' Mr Adikhari said.

Sikkim Subject certificates have been handed down to the original inhabitans of the state by their forefathers from the Chogyal era when Sikkim was still a kingdom.

''We have also received some information from Nepal regarding the allegations on Mr Chamling,'' Mr Adikhari said. He also claimed that the Centre had already sent him feelers through intelligence sources to file a case against the Chief Minister on this issue.

The SNPP president asserted that the 'Nepal citizen' allegations against the Chief Minister were proving detrimental not only to Sikkim but also to the Gorkhaland aspirations of Darjeeling people.

The party president lambasted both the Centre and SDF government for ''making a mockery of the Constitutional safeguards given to the Sikkimese people under Article 371 F.'' ''Both the governments have violated Article 371 F. Every community in Sikkim has been marginalised and their rights have been trampled in preference for outsiders,'' Mr Adikhari said.

The SNPP president particularly stressed on the marginalisation of the majority Sikkimese Nepali community.

''The seats reserved for the Nepalis of Sikkimese origin as per Article 371 F should be restored immediately,'' he said.

''Sikkim is the only state in the country where the majority community has been so much marginalised by the Chief Minister of the same community,'' Mr Adikhari said.

SNPP treasurer Diley Namgyal Kazi said the Nepali community leaders should focus on getting lost seats of their community back instead of attacking the 12 reserved Assembly seats of minority Bhutia-Lepcha community.

UNI BG DPM RN1606

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