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Football

'Simply not for me': Former Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia quits politics

Legendary footballer Bhaichung Bhutia quit politics after losing in the 2024 general elections.

Simply not for me: Former Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia quits politics
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FILE PHOTO: Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 26 Jun 2024 3:59 AM GMT

Legendary Indian footballer and former national team captain Bhaichung Bhutia announced on Tuesday that he was quitting politics.

The decision came after his defeat in the recently held assembly elections in Sikkim.

Currently serving as the vice president of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), Bhaichung lost to SKM's Rikshal Dorjee Bhutia in the Barfung seat, which marked his sixth electoral defeat.

He joined politics in 2014 when the ruling TMC in West Bengal named him its candidate for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat. In 2018, he took the plunge into the political arena of his state by forming the Hamro Sikkim Party. Last year, he merged his party with the Pawan Chamling-led SDF.

"Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mr PS Tamang and the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) for winning the assembly elections. The people of Sikkim have given them a resounding mandate and I hope the SKM govt will work to fulfill their promises and take Sikkim to greater heights across all sectors," he said in a statement.

"After the 2024 election results, I have had the realization that electoral politics is simply not for me. I am therefore quitting all forms of electoral politics with immediate effect," he added.

Bhutia, the former Indian football captain, said he felt he had great ideas for the development of sports and tourism in Sikkim.

"...given a chance, I would have loved to implement and contribute to the growth of the state in a very honest and sincere way," he said.

"Unfortunately it was not to be. I am certain there will be more people with better ideas to do so," he said.

Bhutia said that his intention in politics was to do good for the people of the state and the country.

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