‘Simply Not For Me’: Bhaichung Bhutia, Former Indian National Football Team Skipper, Quits Electoral Politics

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Gangtok (incl. Upper Tadong), India

Bhaichung Bhutia, footballer-turned-politician, said he is quitting electoral politics in a statement released on June 25. (Image: PTI File)

Bhutia said the realisation that electoral politics was not for him dawned on him after the 2024 Sikkim legislative elections.

Bhaichung Bhutia, former skipper of the Indian national football team and politician of the Sikkim Democratic Front, announced on Tuesday that he is quitting electoral politics. He released a statement congratulating chief minister Prem Singh Tamang and his party, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), for their victory in the 2024 Sikkim Assembly Election.

“After the 2024 election results, I have had the realisation that electoral politics is simply not for me. I am therefore quitting all forms of electoral politics with immediate effect,” Bhutia said.

“I now wish to devote more time to introspect, work towards my other goals and discover my purpose anew,” the former Indian football team skipper.

He exuded hope that the state government will keep its promises made to the people and take the state to greater heights. In his statement, he said that he realised electoral politics was not for him after the election results and said he regretted not being able to implement his ideas for developing sports and tourism in Sikkim.

In June, Bhaichung Bhutia faced a setback in his political career, losing the Barfung Assembly constituency in Namchi district to Rikshal Dorjee Bhutia of the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) by 4,346 votes.

“My only regret is that I felt I had great ideas with regard to development of sports and tourism which, given a chance, I would have loved to implement and thus contribute to the growth of the state in a very honest and sincere way,” he further added.

Quoting Lord Buddha, he said that his intentions in politics were always good. He thanked his supporters and apologised to anyone he may have hurt.

“I wish to thank everyone who supported me through thick and thin. I am also sincerely sorry if I hurt anyone unknowingly or knowingly. As we say in football, please take it in the spirit of the game,” the press release said.

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