Rajya Sabha bids adieu to O.T. Lepcha
January 12, 2012
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“There is a lot of resentment among the people of the Sikkim due to inadequate development and welfare of Schedule Tries and other sections of the people of the State. It is, therefore, essential that special financial assistance should be given to the State of Sikkim so that the plans can be implemented for an all-round development of this State”, said Lepcha in his statement of objects and reasons while introducing the Bill in the Rajya Sabha few days back. But now you may not found Lepcha introducing any bill in Rajya Sabha. Because Lepcha got farewell with other 7 MP’s from Rajya Sabha on 29th of December.
Although Lepcha’s retirement date is 23rd February 2012 but he was given farwell so early because now parliament will only meet in March during budget session and at that time Lepcha would not be there.
Lepcha joined Rajya Sabha on 22nd February 2006 as a nominated member from Sikkim Democratic Front. After joining the house he served as a member of many committees like:
- Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs May 2008 onwards
- Committee on Government Assurances May 2008-May 2009 and Jan. 2010 onwards
- Parliamentry Forum on Youth May 2009 onwards
- Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Power Aug. 2009 onwards
- Committee on Industry
During his tenure as Member of Parliament Lepcha raised several questions in the house. Some of the major ones were:
- Setting up of Dead Burnt Magnesia Plant in Jammu.
- Electronic media under PCI.
- Indo Bangladesh bilateral relationships.
- Students not getting admission in colleges in Delhi.
- Air, railways and road connectivity to habitation with smaller population.
- Urban development of north eastern states.
In return of his questions Lepcha got assurance by government on some major issues like:
- Setting up of Airport at Sikkim.
- Industrialization of North Eastern Region.
- Recommendations of review committee on deemed universities.
- Private participation in Railways facilities.
He also made some special mentions in parliament like:
- Demand for financial assistance for the State of Sikkim to rebuild the state devastated by earthquake.
- Demand to give permission for the visit of 17th Karmapa to Rumtek Monastry in Sikkim.
- Take steps to give reservation to the Limboo and Tamang Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim.
- Demand to take effective steps for completion of various road projects, especially Highways, in Sikkim.
- Need to take effective steps for construction of airport in Pakyang, near Gangtok in the state of Sikkim.
Being a MP Lepcha went to Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, U.S.A., U.K., Thailand and Italy.
It was not that Lepcha only gained his fans during his tenure, he also have some people around him who criticized him who believed that:
- Lepcha has joined the competition in demonstrating his financial might by constructing RCC buildings after buildings and purchase of land in and outside the State of Sikkim. Within a short span of his tenure as Minister in the SDF Government he constructed a huge well furnished concrete Bunglow at Rinchenpong, West Sikkim at a cost of Rs. 80 Lakhs.
- He constructed a beautiful massive concrete building near Helipad at Lower Burtuk on Western Indira Bye Pass at a cost of about Rs. 1.5 crore in which a well furnished expensive HOTEL KASTURI is being run.
- Lepcha is also constructing another massive RCC building at Bojo Ghari near Army camp on North Sikkim Highway.The approx. cost of the building is 70 Lakhs. Further, he is also constructing a massive brick fancing wall for providing protection to his building under construction and the approximate cost of such structure is Rs.30 lakhs.
It was not that Lepcha got the only Rajya Sabha seat available for Sikkim with ease. It was his long carrier and strong political experience that led him wining this seat.
Before coming into politics Lepcha served as ateacher from 1988 to 1999. He was also a member of All India Youth Forum during that period.
In 1999 Lepcha got elected for Sikkim Legislative Assembly. Where he was appointed on several positions like:
- Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment from 1999 to 2004.
- Minister for Women and Child Development, Government of Sikkim 2004 to2006.
- Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, Sikkim (with Cabinet Rank) in Feb. 2006.
He always remained an important member of Sikkim’s Government during his tenure.
On retirement of 7 MP’s including Lepcha Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari said “Some of these members, I am sure, will be re-elected and re-nominated,” Ansari said, adding the House would “certainly miss” those who do not come back.
Ansari appreciated contributions made by the retiring members to the Parliamentary democracy and society at large and wished them good health and long fruitful years of service to the nation.