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Bhaichung Bhutia quits electoral politics, says, “My only regret is although I had great ideas, they were not executed”

First Published: 25th June, 2024 17:48 IST

In the recently concluded State Assembly elections, Bhaichung Bhutia fought as SDF candidate from the Burfang seat but lost for the 6th time in 10 years of his political career.

Bhaichung Bhutia, the 47-year-old football legend turned politician has quit electoral politics. He made the announcement today, days after he lost the Sikkim Assembly elections held recently, his 6th electoral loss in the 10 years of his political career.

Bhutia currently the Vice President of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), had contested the Assembly elections from the Burfang seat.

Bhutia, who has been lucky in the game of football and had captained the Indian football team, was not so lucky in the game of politics.

In a letter, Bhutia said that he has realized that electoral politics does not suit him, but that his only regret is that he had great ideas about how to develop sports and tourism in the state, which he would have loved to put into action and thereby contribute to the state’s growth in a very sincere and honest way. Still, unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

“After the 2024 election results, I have had the realisation that electoral politics is simply not for me. I am therefore quitting all forms of electoral politics with immediate effect. My only regret is that I felt I had great ideas with regard to the development of sports and tourism which given a chance, I would have loved to implement and thus contribute to the growth of the state in a very honest and sincere way. Unfortunately, it was not to be. I am certain there will be more people with better ideas to do so,” said Bhutia in his letter.

“As Lord Buddha said, “one’s intentions must be good”. I can only say with utmost honesty and humility that my intention in politics was to do good, for the people of both state and country,” said Bhutia.

He further said that he now wishes to devote more time to introspect, work towards his other goals and discover his purpose anew.

Bhutia hung up his football boots and plunged headlong into the world of politics in 2014 when he joined the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from the Darjeeling seat but lost.

He again fought the 2016 West Bengal Assembly polls on a TMC ticket for the Siliguri seat but lost again.

He then shifted his political base to his home-state, Sikkim and launched his own party, the Hamro Sikkim Party. He fought the 2019 Sikkim Assembly polls but lost from the Gangtok and Tumen-Lingi seats. He also lost the 2019 bypoll for the Gangtok seat.

Later, in 2023, Bhutia merged his party with the SDF and in the State Assembly elections this year, he fought as SDF candidate from the Burfang seat only to lose for the 6th time in 10 years of his political career.

Also Read: Construction worker buried alive at under-construction site in Sikkim’s Geyzing

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