‘Not for me’: Bhaichung Bhutia gives up electoral politics after losing 4 polls | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Not for me’: Bhaichung Bhutia gives up electoral politics after losing 4 polls

Jun 25, 2024 09:58 PM IST

Tuesday’s announcement came after Bhaichung Bhutia’s fourth electoral defeat in West Bengal and Sikkim

SILIGURI: Former Indian football captain-turned-politician Bhaichung Bhutia said on Tuesday that he was quitting electoral politics.

Bhaichung Bhutia contested his first Lok Sabha election in 2014 on a TMC ticket from the Darjeeling constituency (X/iimunofficial)
Bhaichung Bhutia contested his first Lok Sabha election in 2014 on a TMC ticket from the Darjeeling constituency (X/iimunofficial)

Tuesday’s announcement came after Bhutia’s fourth electoral defeat in West Bengal and Sikkim.

“After the 2024 election results, I have had the realisation that electoral politics is simply not for me. I am, therefore, quitting all forms of electoral politics with immediate effect,” Bhutia said in a media statement.

The PS Tamang-led Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) swept the state polls held in April, winning 31 of the assembly’s 32 seats. Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), the party that ruled Sikkim for 25 years earlier since 1994, only won the Syari seat in Gangtok.

“First, I would like to congratulate PS Tamang and the SKM party for winning the 2024 Sikkim assembly election. The people of Sikkim have given them a resounding mandate and I hope the SKM government will work to fulfil their promises and take Sikkim to greater heights across all sectors,” the statement said.

Bhutia had unsuccessfully contested the Sikkim assembly elections from the Barfung constituency as a candidate of the Pawan Chamling-led SDF.

“My only regret is that I felt I had great ideas for the development of sports and tourism which given a chance, I would have loved to implement and contribute to the growth of the state in a very honest and sincere way. Unfortunately, it was not to be. I am certain there will be more people with better ideas to do so,” Bhutia added.

Bhutia initially formed his political party in Sikkim, Hamro Sikkim Party, on May 31 2018 to oppose the SDF. In November last year, Bhutia, however, joined the Chamling-led SDF.

Previously, he had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as the Trinamool Congress candidate from the Darjeeling constituency. Two years later, he tried again as a TMC candidate from the Siliguri assembly seat in 2016.

SKM spokesperson Bikash Basnet said the party did not have anything to say about Bhutia’s personal decision. “I believe Bhutia timely realised that politics was not his cup of tea and I wish him all success in his future endeavours,” Basnet added.

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