Bhaichung Bhutia Quits TMC, Sets Sights on Sikkim Politics
The footballer-turned-politician had shown a departure from the TMC’s stance on the issue of Gorkhaland.
Former team India football captain-turned-politician Bhaichung Bhutia announced his resignation from the Trinamool Congress on 26 February. In a tweet, he said:
Bhutia has contested on a Trinamool ticket twice – in 2014 and 2016 – from the Darjeeling and Siliguri seats. He lost both.
Sources close to the footballer told The Quint that a crack in his ties with the TMC emerged in 2017, when Bhutia had backed the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. Bhutia was also reportedly unhappy with the Mamata government’s handling of the Gorkhaland crisis and the 104-day long strike in Darjeeling.
Reports suggest that towards the end of 2017, top politicians from Sikkim met Bhutia in a bid to coerce him into taking on the political mantle of his home state. Sources close to him say that the dissociation from the Trinamool is an end to his career in Bengal politics and that he’s now eyeing an entry in the political scene of Sikkim.
There have also been rumours of the footballer joining the BJP. Those close to him say that another big announcement is likely in the coming days.
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.