Safeguarding Sikkim's special status top priority: SDF MP

Amid concerns about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Lok Sabha MP of Sikkim Democratic Front's (SDF) P.D. Rai on Saturday asserted that safeguarding the special status of the state is the "top priority".

The bill has been raising alarms in the northeastern state.

Addressing a press conference here, leader of the ruling SDF said that even if the bill is enforced, it would not impact the state in the way that it may impact Assam. Further, he added that the "integrity of Article 371F of the Constitution will be kep intact.

Article 371F provides for special provisions with respect to the state of Sikkim.

"Safeguarding the special status of Sikkim is the top priority of the SDF government and all constitutional provisions that facilitate the safeguard of special status of Sikkim are duly kept secured and shall be constantly maintained," Rai said.

Addressing concerns of some people about the SDF coming out of the alliance with North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), Rai said this question does not arise and future participation would depend entirely on the outcome of the 2019 elections.

Commenting on the recent allegations made by Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) about the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling's comments on women, party's the vice president Bhim Dahal said: "The opposition is resorting to such measures like misconstruing the facts to cover up their own political failures."

The ruling SDF accused opposition in the state of diverting political dialogue, steering it towards unproductive debate by distorting facts and spreading propaganda.

The party leaders claimed that its political dialogue is based on reasoning and logic.

Speaking on the "One Family One Job Scheme", which was launched on January 12 by Chamling guaranteeing job opportunities to the young citizens of the state, party's spokesperson K.T. Gyaltsen said 20,000 jobs were created and given to youngsters.

"These jobs will be regularised after 5 years of service," he added.