Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia on Thursday has started a fresh innings by launching an independent political party Hamro Sikkim.
Arjuna Awardee Bhutia had quit Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress two months back to form his own political party.
“My sole focus would be development of Sikkim. I hope my joining politics will inspire youngsters in Sikkim and rest of the country. Whatever you do today is through policies made by political leaders. It’s easy to criticise them but it is important that good people come forward and get into the dirty part and clean it,” Bhutia said addressing a press conference in New Delhi.
He said that it had taken him 20 years to build his image through football and he won’t let it get spoiled because of politics. “It has taken me 20 years to build name through football. I promise to the people that I won’t let that go because of politics,” Bhaichung said. He had unsuccessfully contested as TMC candidate from Darjeeling in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and Siliguri assembly constituency in 2016.
Even while he was a member of TMC, Baichung felt himself isolated. Bhutia said that even after being part of West Bengal politics and playing for top Bengal clubs for years, he could not get rid of the “outsider” tag and now he had returned to his roots.
“I was dropped from the top in the TMC. Let’s not forget that when I contested from Siliguri, there was an outsider tag on me as well. I played in Bengal for many years, but the tag was always there. My commitment to the TMC was not there. I think it was unfair on my part to be in a party I am not committed to,” Bhutia said.
“Now, I am going back. My family, my house, — all are in Sikkim. I am the son of the soil. Now, I will be able to commit myself. I think I can contribute much more here,” he said.
He also admitted that he does not support TMC’s stand on Gorkhaland issue. “There were one or two major issues regarding Gorkhaland which I did not agree to. I did not support the TMC’s stand on the issue,” he said. Bhaichung said that his party’s two major aims would be to fight against corruption and unemployment.