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Bhaichung Bhutia to announce launch of Sikkim-based party in Delhi today

Bhaichung Bhutia, the former Indian football captain, announced his resignation from the Trinamool Congress on February 26.

kolkata Updated: Apr 26, 2018 07:56 IST
Pramod Giri
Pramod Giri
Hindustan Times, Siliguri
Bhaichung Bhutia,Trinamool Congress,Mamata Banerjee
Former Indian football captain and Darjeeling Lok Shaba candidate from Trinamool Congress, Bhaichung Bhutia, with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during an election rally in Siliguri on March 25, 2014. (HT Archive)

Former Indian football captain, Bhaichung Bhutia said on Wednesday he is ready to set up his political outfit which he would announce in Delhi on Thursday. The party will be based in his native state Sikkim.

“We will formally announce the date for the launch of the party in Delhi on Thursday. The formal launch will take place in Sikkim in three to four weeks,” Bhutia said. “The new party will have credible people with a clean image and will work for clean politics in the tiny Himalayan state of Sikkim,” said the former footballer.

Handpicked by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to represent the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Darjeeling, Bhutia quit Bengal’s ruling party on February 26. He had announced his resignation on Facebook and Twitter .

Though he kept everyone guessing about his next move, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), Sikkim’s main opposition party, were in the race to woo the former striker. A former leader of SKM said, “There is an urgent need of a new party with people having clean image leading it, particularly after PS Golay, the SKM president, was sentenced in a corruption case.”

In the 2014 assembly elections, SKM won 10 of 32 assembly seats in Sikkim. The SKM is considered a challenger for five-time chief minister Pawan Chamling, who is also the president of Sikkim Democratic Front. Sikkim goes to polls next year. Bhutia contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Darjeeling and the 2016 assembly polls from Siliguri on TMC tickets, but lost on both occasions.

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 00:02 IST