Press Release: In two separate instances, the Sikkim government has acknowledged the dilution of the “Sikkimese” definition and Article 371F. Firstly, during the special assembly session, their resolutions clearly said “the recent amendment in section 10 (26AAA), has deeply hurt the feeling and sentiments of the people of Sikkim and has created apprehension in the minds of the people of Sikkim that the definition of the term ‘𝐒𝐢𝐤𝐤𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐞’ 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐝𝐢𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐝. As the insertion of clauses (iv) and (v) to the explanation under sub-section 26AAA of Section 10 of Income Tax Act, 1961 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐛𝐛𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐢𝐤𝐤𝐢𝐦 𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐚𝐫 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬”. Additionally, in the ongoing budget session, the government has formed a committee to review the provisions of Article 371F and safeguarding Sikkimese identity, further validating the fact that an assault on Article 371F and Sikkimese identity has taken place.
BJP president Mr. DR Thapa has already accepted that the “Sikkimese” definition and Article 370F have been diluted. With both engines of the double-engine government, namely the SKM and BJP, accepting the dilution of the Sikkimese definition, the Hamro Sikkim Party makes the following demands:
𝟏. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐢𝐤𝐤𝐢𝐦 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐢𝐤𝐤𝐢𝐦 for misleading them with false claims and his “Vijay Diwas” declaration that the Sikkimese definition and Article 371F remain unaltered.
𝟐. The double-engine government should 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐃𝐞𝐥𝐡𝐢 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐀𝐜𝐭 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑 that diluted the Sikkimese definition.
𝟑. If the central BJP government refuses to rectify the mistake of diluting the “Sikkimese” definition, the Sikkim government should 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐬 (𝐢𝐯) 𝐚𝐧𝐝 (𝐯) of subsection 26AAA of Section 10 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, introduced by the Finance Act 2023.
𝟒. We have heard statements from Mr. KN Lepcha stating that “the interest of Sikkimese stands first irrespective of political affiliations,” and similar remarks from Mr. DR Thapa. However, these patriotic statements hold no value unless they are reflected in their actions. What actions did they take when both the state and BJP central government gave a No Objection Certificate (NOC) in the AOSS case? 𝐀𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐊𝐌 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐉𝐏 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐁𝐉𝐏 & 𝐒𝐊𝐌 in the best interest of Sikkim and the Sikkimese people.
The practice of creating committees upon committees as a delay tactic must cease, and concrete actions should be taken instead. The people of Sikkim have witnessed how committees were used as a ploy to delay their demands for an Inner-Line Permit. The new committee is toothless and holds no authority or power to reverse the dilution of Sikkimese identity.
𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐫𝐨 𝐒𝐢𝐤𝐤𝐢𝐦 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐲
Gangtokian Web Team, 19/05/23