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Will protect special status of Sikkim: Tamang

 GANGTOK, Aug 16 - Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Thursday pledged to “protect and conserve” Article 371(F) of the Constitution, which provides special status to the tiny border State.

 Tamang, better known as Golay, also said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured him that the rights granted to the State would not be tinkered with.

“On the occasion of the 73rd Independence Day celebrations, I pledge to protect, conserve and consolidate the Article 371(F) of the Constitution which provides special status to our State,” he said after unfurling the National Flag at the Paljor Stadium here.

According to Article 371(F), “the Governor shall have special responsibility for peace and equitable arrangement for ensuring the social and economic advancement of different sections of the population of Sikkim... and the Governor of Sikkim shall, subject to such directions as the President may, from time to time, deem fit to issue, act in his discretion”.

It also states that “neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall have jurisdiction in respect of any dispute or other matter arising out of any treaty, agreement, engagement or other similar instrument relating to Sikkim....”

The recent abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir by the Centre have raised apprehensions in the North East, with several parties and organisations fearing that the Centre may also tinker with the special status accorded to their States. – PTI

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