Speeches in Parliament Vol. (IV)-71

“We can no longer remain patient in the face of the Chogyal’s repeated and persistent manoeuvers against us. Our people are determined that Sikkim immediately be given the full rights and responsibilities which are available to other constituent units of India.

Following their decision, the Government of Sikkim organised a special poll throughout Sikkim on the 14th April. The result was announced on the 15th April. Out of a total electrorate of approximately 97,000 - 59,637 votes were polled in favour and 1,496 votes against the Resolution. The poll was conducted by the Sikkim Government with their existing electoral rules under conditions of scrupulous fairness and was covered by large numbers of journalists and representatives of other publicity media.

The Chief Minister of Sikkim communicated this result to the Government of India on the 15th evening and stated :

“In approving this decision, the Sikkimese people have overwhelmingly made it clear that they can no longer suffer the burden of the institution of the Chogual and they desire, with immediate effect, that Sikkim henceforth be a constituent unit of India, enjoying a democratic and fully responsible government. Through this poll, which was conducted with scrupulous impartiality under the supervision of Sikkim’s election officials and was fully covered by a large number of Press representatives, the Sikkimese people have unitedly endoresed the Assembly Resolution of the 10th April and have confirmed their mandate to the Assembly.

On behalf of the Council of Ministers, I now strongly request the Government of India to make an immediate response and accept this decision, taking, as had been requested in the Assembly Resolution of the 10th April, such measures as may be necessary and appropriate to implement this decision as early as possible.”

The entire Council of Ministers of Sikkim accompanied by some senior Sikkimese leaders visited New Delhi on the 16th and 17th April and personally conveyed to the Government of India, Sikkim’s strong desire that immediate action be taken to give effect to Sikkim’s near-unanimous decision.

The choice for us as far as Sikkim is concerned has always been a clear one. Are we to uphold the narrow vested interested of the anachronistic system to the breaking point, or are we to respond to the democratic urges of the people and their freely expressed will in favour of fully joining in the mainstream of our national life? We have made very effort to accommodate the interests of the Ruler with the wishes and aspirations of the ruled in Sikkim. The long course of our relations with the Chogyal and with political leaders of Sikkim representing the trodden masses, bear testimony to our continued efforts to help the different parties in achieving a workable accommodation among themselves.