Gangtok, Oct 8 (PTI) The Conrgress on Monday said it was committed to protecting the special status of Sikkim and would always fight for the rights and privileges of its people.

The party also supports reservation of seats for the Sikkimese Nepali community in the Assembly and will raise the issue in Parliament, the newly-appointed AICC in-charge of the state Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma said here.

Currently there are 32 seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) wants to increase the seats to 40 to accommodate other communities in Sikkim, including Limbu and Tamang.

Debbarma alleged that the SDF government in the state is diluting the special status given to the state under Article 371(F) of the Constitution.

“It was the Congress that provided constitutional guarantee in the form of Article 371(F) to protect the interests of the three ethnic communities of the state — Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalis,” Debbarma told a press conference.

“We will take up all issues related to the people of Sikkim to the Centre, something that was either forgotten or neglected in earlier times,” the AICC leader said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.