Taking offense at a Delhi government advertisement on newspapers referring to Sikkim as an “independent country” clubbed with Nepal and Bhutan, the state has demanded that the ad be immediately withdrawn as it is “immensely hurtful”.
In a letter to the Delhi government, Sikkim chief secretary has mentioned that the advertisement is immensely hurtful to the people of Sikkim “who take pride” in being the citizens of India.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had put out an ad on newspapers for the enrollment of volunteers for the Civil Defence Corps.
“This is immensely hurtful to the people of Sikkim who take pride in being the citizens of our great country, ever since it became 22nd state of the Indian Union on 16th May 1975,” the letter read.
“I would request you to immediately withdraw the offensive advertisement and issue a suitable communique to assuage the feelings of the people of Sikkim,” the letter further stated.
Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) also slammed the Delhi government for clubbing the state with Nepal and Bhutan as an independent country.
Calling the error “condemnable,” CM Prem Singh Tamang requested the Delhi government to rectify the issue.
“Sikkim is a part of India and this is condemnable and I would request the Delhi Government to rectify this issue,” Tamang said on Twitter.
“This advertisement published by the Delhi Government in various print media mentions Sikkim along with countries like Bhutan and Nepal. Sikkim has been a part of India since 1975 and celebrated the State Day just a week ago,” the chief minister said in another tweet.
— Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) (@GolayPs) May 23, 2020
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also said that Sikkim is an integral part of India, and such errors “cannot be tolerated”.
Kejriwal added that the advertisement has been withdrawn and action has been taken against the concerned officer.
Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal informed that a senior officer of Directorate of Civil Defence (HQ) has been suspended with immediate effect for publishing the advertisement that “disrespects the territorial integrity of India by making incorrect reference to Sikkim on the same lines as some neighbouring countries”.
A senior officer of Directorate of Civil Defence (HQ) has been suspended with immediate effect for publishing an Advertisement which disrespects the territorial integrity of India by making incorrect reference to Sikkim on the same lines as some neighbouring countries.
— LG Delhi (@LtGovDelhi) May 23, 2020
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also didn’t miss out on the opportunity to hit out at the Delhi government. Taking to Twitter, the BJP asked the Kejriwal government to apologise to the people of North East, calling the error an “insensitivity”.
On 15 May 1975, the President of India ratified a constitutional amendment that made Sikkim the 22nd state of India. Stop misleading people!
CM @ArvindKejriwal should apologise to the people of North East who are proud Indians, for this insensitivity.
— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) May 23, 2020
(With inputs from Poulomi Saha, Pankaj Jain, Ankit)