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SDF brands Bhaichung�s party as �team without captain�

By The Assam Tribune

GANGTOK, June 7 - The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) today hit back at ace footballer Bhaichung Bhutia, dubbing his attack on Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling last week as baseless.

�Bhaichung Bhutia has been a legendary footballer, but he is behaving like a Shikhandi (a negative character of the epic Mahabharata) by firing from the back of those forces inimical to peace and tranquillity in Sikkim,� SDF�s senior spokesperson Bhim Dahal told reporters here.

Bhutia, the former India captain and a native of South Sikkim, co-founded a regional outfit � Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) � last week. He also launched a scathing attack on Chamling and alleged that corruption is rampant in the State and there has been no development of Sikkim over the past four decades.

Replying to Bhutia�s attacks, Dahal said it was apparent to all that Bhutia was acting like a �Shikhandi� by doing the hit job on somebody else�s behalf.

�Otherwise, how dare you call Chamling corrupt and communal without any proof if you are not doing a hit job on behalf of someone else?� Dahal asked.

The senior SDF leader also brushed aside any challenge from Bhutia�s party, saying a team has no chance in a game if it does not have a captain.

�Bhaichung, who had captained India and various club teams for long, should know the importance of a captain in a team game, but the former India international has forgotten the basic rule and launched a regional party without a captain,� Dahal said.

Despite co-founding the HSP, the 41-year-old Bhutia has preferred not to head it but remain its vice president, along with eight other leaders.

Outlining the SDF�s political agenda in the run-up to the Assembly polls next year, Dahal said Chamling has been trying hard to seek reservation of seats for the tribal Limboo and Tamang communities and secure tribal status for 11 communities before the elections.

�The ball is in the Centre�s court on the two issues,� Dahal said, but brushed aside the possibility of severing ties with the NDA or the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) to put pressure on the Narendra Modi Government on the two demands. � PTI

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