New Delhi: Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia today launched his political party “Hamro Sikkim” here.
He said he “felt like an outsider” in the Trinamool Congress.
The party will be based in his native state Sikkim.
Bhutia said that even after being part of West Bengal politics and playing for top Bengal clubs for years, he could not get rid of the “outsider” tag and now he had returned to his roots.
“I was dropped from the top in the TMC. Let’s not forget that when I contested from Siliguri, there was an outsider tag on me as well.
“I played in Bengal for many years, but the tag was always there. My commitment to the TMC was not there. I think it was unfair on my part to be in a party I am not commited to,” he said.
“Now, I am going back. My family, my house, all are in Sikkim. I am the son of the soil. Now, I will be able to commit myself. I think I can contribute much more here,” Bhutia added.
Soon after his defeat in the West Bengal Assembly elections, difference of opinions cropped up between the TMC and Bhutia as he did not support the party’s stand on the Gorkhaland issue.
“There were one or two major issues regarding Gorkhaland I did not agree to. I did not support the TMC’s stand on the issue,” he said.
Bhutia said his party would try to rise above the petty politics of caste and religion, and make the state graft free as it had become a safe haven for corrupt people under the present state government.
According to some political observers, the newly formed party would keep its options open to team up with the NDA, though Baichung said his first priority would be his party.