Citizenship law won’t be implemented in Sikkim: CM

Citizenship law won’t be implemented in Sikkim: CM

GANGTOK | December 17, 2019:

Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Monday said the citizenship law will not be implemented in the state as it enjoys special status under Article 371(F) of the Constitution.

Hitting out at the opposition, Tamang said, "Some people with vested interest are misleading people in Sikkim on amended citizenship law. It will not have any implications in the state."

"We have already been assured by Union Home Minister Amit Shah that the amended Citizenship Act will not come into force in Sikkim as the state enjoys a special status under Article 371(F) of the Constitution," Tamang said.

The chief minister said despite the Union home minister giving a point of clarification in the Parliament that the Act will not be implemented in Sikkim till it is ratified by the state Assembly, opposition parties in the state were "misguiding" people over the issue.

Opposition parties Congress, Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) and the Sikkim Republican Party (SRP) have expressed fears that Sikkim, with only six lakh population, will be forced to come under the purview of the Act.

HSP working president Bhaichung Bhutia has been a fierce critic of the Act, expressing apprehensions that the amended citizenship law may change the demography of the state, which is at present in the favour of Lepchas, Bhutias and Gorkhas.

He had also urged the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) to rethink its alliance with the BJP in the Centre and the state.

Several student bodies and political outfits of Sikkim have staged protests against the contentious legislation that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to religious minorities of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan fleeing persecution there.

PTI

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