Srinagar/Gangtok, Jan 29 (IANS): Former captain of the Indian national football team and Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) president Bhaichung Bhutia on Sunday participated in the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in Srinagar along with Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra -- being led by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, would culminate on January 30 in Srinagar.
Bhutia has been pressing for restoration of seats' reservation for the Sikkimese Nepali people in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to protect the local indigenous communities from rising influx.
The HSP in a release said Bhutia took up these demands with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi while participating in the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
He sought Congress' support on the ILP and seats' restoration issue if the bill was brought in the Parliament.
He explained to the two Congress leaders that the rightful reservation of the Sikkimese Nepali community must be restored to ensure their safety and security.
"Baichung Bhutia also explained why ILP is necessary for Sikkim's all-round development and prosperity. During the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he requested all the leaders of Congress to support any resolution/bill brought in the Parliament to solve these issues," the HSP release stated.
Bhutia has said that Rahul Gandhi had taken note of the demands placed by him during the Yatra.
"As a constructive opposition party, HSP is doing everything to support the government to solve the issue of ILP and seat reservations. Now it is high time that the government of Sikkim acted. And the right place to act is the Sikkim State Legislative Assembly, not the rally or speech. The government must pass the bills in the Assembly on these two issues and send it to the parliament so that the bill is passed and becomes an Act or law," said HSP spokesperson Biraj Adhikari.