Gangtok: Former Indian soccer star Bhaichung Bhutia has broken his silence on his resignation from Trinamool last month, accusing a section of party leaders of treating him like an “outsider” while signalling a political career in home state Sikkim.
“Since I was an outsider, I was opposed not just by the public but even by people in my own party,” Bhaichung told on Wednesday, weeks after he had announced his resignation through a tweet.
Trinamool leaders declined comment but sources in the party claimed Bhaichung was trying to cosy up to the BJP to start his innings in Sikkim, where he is now on a Yuva Yatra (youth march) with some friends “to understand the ground reality”.
Trinamool nominated Bhaichung from the Darjeeling parliamentary seat in 2014 but he lost to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-backed BJP candidate S.S. Ahluwalia. Mamata Banerjee fielded him against CPM veteran Asok Bhattacharya in Siliguri in the 2016 Assembly polls, but he lost. Later, In June 2016, Bhaichung was made chairman of the North Bengal Board for Development of Sports.
On Wednesday, Bhaichung said “the lessons he learnt in Bengal” would hold him in good stead. Unlike in Bengal, where he was “thrown down from the top”, he said he would work his way up from the bottom in his home state.