What will Bhaichung Bhutia do now after quitting Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress?

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New Delhi | Published: February 26, 2018 1:12:29 PM

Football legend Bhaichung Bhutia has quit Mamata Banerjee-led All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) after not so successful stint with the political party.

bhaichung bhutia
Bhaichung Bhutia seen with children at a football coaching camp in Namchi, South Sikkim. (Twitter/@Bhaichung15)

Football legend Bhaichung Bhutia has quit Mamata Banerjee-led All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) after not so successful stint with the political party. Bhutia entered politics two years after retiring from professional football in 2011. During his playing days, the former Indian football team captain was very popular across West Bengal. But the popularity didn’t translate into electoral wins for Bhutia.

After joining TMC in 2013, Bhutia lost to BJP’s SS Ahluwalia from Darjeeling in Lok Sabha elections 2014. The former footballer came second with 2,91,018 votes, while Ahluwalia of BJP secured 4,88,257 votes. CPI(M)’s Suman Pathak came third with 1,67,186 votes while Congress’ Sujay Ghatak managed to get just 90,076 votes.

In West Bengal Assembly election 2016, Bhutia contested from Siliguri against CPI(M)’s Ashok Bhattacharya but lost again.

On Monday, the football legend tweeted: “As of today I have officially resigned from the membership and all the official and political posts of All India Trinamool Congress party. I am no longer a member or associated with any political party in India.”

Later he told ANI: “As of today I have officially resigned from the membership and all the official and political posts of All India Trinamool Congress party. I am no longer a member or associated with any political party in India.”

Bhutia’s decision to quit politics had led to speculations about his future plans. Many believe that the former footballer may join the BJP. It is likely as the saffron party is getting stronger in the North-East states. The BJP now rules three out of seven states in North East – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. The party is looking confident about winning elections in Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland as well.

Recently, Bhutia had voiced his opinion against TMC while supporting the demand for a separate Gorkhaland.

The former footballer recently met the Delhi-based senior lawyer and former AAP leader Prashant Bhushan. Both talked about issues related to the development of Sikkim, Bhutia’s home state. “Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia is a rare celebrity who is devoting his time & energy to see how young people of Sikkim can come together to change the corrupt system there. I wish him all the best & will be happy to support him,” Bhushan had tweeted.

The is no confirmation yet about Bhutia’s future plans, but his fans can’t stop speculating.

It is believed that the Indian football legend will announce his future plans soon.

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