Bhutia too announces 'Nyay', but a bit different one

Bhutia too announces 'Nyay', but a bit different one

Bhaichung Bhutia

If Congress' Rahul Gandhi has come up with 'NYAY', Bhaichung Bhutia can't be far behind -- the footballer-turned-politician's party in Sikkim is promising Rs 90,000 minimum income for every family of five in his state.

Gandhi announced the poll sop on Monday and a day later Bhutia, who heads the 'Hamro Sikkim Party' (HSP) that he founded after quitting Trinamool Congress, has promised the launch of 'Sikkimey Samman Yojna' in 25 days if voted to power.

His party would not call it “a gift nor an electoral sop or largesse” but simply “redistribution of Sikkim’s wealth” for welfare of all Sikkimese. 

“We will do it in 25 days of taking oath of office which the Pawan Chamling-led SDF government could not do in 25 years of power,” Bhutia said. Sikkim is going to Assembly polls in single phase on April 11 along with Lok Sabha polls.

If the Congress scheme has promised Rs 72,000 per year for a poor family, Bhutia is giving per person an entitlement of Rs 1,500 per month. It will be paid to every Sikkimese man, woman, child, student and youth who reside in Sikkim.

While state and central government upper-grade staff and officers, MPs, MLAs and high earning professionals would be excluded from the scheme, it brings low earning government permanent employees and all ad-hoc employees/scheme workers under the ambit of the scheme.

Sikkim has a projected population of 6,52,862 and after factoring exclusions, the scheme may cost the exchequer around Rs 900 crore a year, which is 12.76% of the Rs 7,051 crore budget of Sikkim for 2018-19.

It is not just the minimum income scheme but the party claims it is different otherwise too. It wants to usher in a revolution of universal rights that will give new direction to the social, economic and political life of the people of Sikkim. 

"That is why the party has nominated a large number of low-income working class people like drivers, mechanics, farmers and unemployed youth as candidates for this election," HSP president Bina Basnett said in a statement.

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