Speeches in Parliament Vol. (IV)-67




This Section contains the developments in Sikkim which ultimately led to Sikkim’s merger with India. These are of historical significance.



Lok Sabha, 11 April, 1975

Shri Y. B. Chavan : I should like to take the opportunity to keep the Hon. Members informed of certain recent development in Sikkim.

As the House is aware, Government have been making sincere efforts to ensure the speedy economic and social development of the people of Sikkim under democratic conditions, as stipulated in the agreement of 8th May, 1973 and the government of Sikkim Act, 1974.

Both documents had the assent and approval of the Chogyal as well as the political leadership of Sikkim. However, the arrangements that were instituted on the basis of these agreements, with the responsible Government constituted by duly elected leaders on the one hand, and the Chogyal functioning as a Constitutional Head of Government on the other, depended essentially for their success, on the sincerity of the Chogyal and full acceptance by him in practice of the democratic system under which he would cease to have the overriding powers he had exercised for more than two decades. 

As Hon. Members are aware, Government of India have been requested, on several occasions over the past 20 years, by political leaders and the people of Sikkim for the abolition of the institution of the Chogyal. Government of India’s endeavour has been to protect the institution, although in the case of Princely states, the Princely order has been abolished in deference to the democratic processes in the country. The deviation in the case of Sikkim was motivated by our desire to show special consideration to the Chogyal in the hope that he would play a responsible role. As regards the present Govern Assembly in Sikkim - the first that is truly representative in character, having d been elected on the basis of one-man one-vote in free and fair elections-the demand for the removal of the Chogyal has been made and repeated for the past several months. As early as in September last year, the Chief Minister had warned that if democracy was to survive in Sikkim, the Chogyal must go. On our part, we have conunselled restraint in the hope and expectation that the Chogyal would ultimately reconcile himself to his constitutional role and adopt a more constructive attitude. However, we have always made it clear to the Chogyal that while we are anxious to protect the institution of Chogyal in Sikkim, as we have been doing over the past several years, we must naturally give the highest priority to the welfare, interests and aspirations of the common people and their elected leaders. I must say that the situation in Sikkim has now reached a critical phase.