I called on His Excellency the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.
During the meeting, I apprised him about the development taking place in Sikkim and sought his guidance and intervention to address the following pending demands of the people of Sikkim:-
1. The issue of reservation of seats for the Limboo and Tamang communities as STs in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly has been pending for the last 14 years. The considerable time elapsed is giving rise to frustrations among our people. In view thereof, I requested the President for his support and assistance to fulfil people’s aspirations at the earliest.
2. I also requested the President for his kind support to address the pending issue of permitting His Holiness (HH) the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa , Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim and allow HH to take his seat at Rumtek Monastery.
3. The 11 left-out Sikkimese communities have been requesting for recognition as Scheduled Tribes , as in the erstwhile regime of the Chogyal they were entitled to equal facilities with other communities of Sikkim. Drawing historical inference, I apprised that the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India had suggested seeking recommendation of the State Government vide Ref. No. BC-12016/24/75-SCT.V dated 21.07.1976 ,which reads as follows:-
“There are also other tribal communities for e.g. Magar, Gurung, Tamang, Tsong, Subba and Rai. The Sikkim Government may kindly review the case of these communities and any other communities which may have been left out….”.
In view of the above historical facts, I requested the President for his consideration to grant tribal status to the left-out communities.
The President expressed great satisfaction on the progress made by the State Government in all spheres of development including total Organic State, Cleanest State, Open Defecation Free State, etc.
I also extended invitation to the President to visit Sikkim in near future.