Sikkim Gears Up for Lok Sabha and State Assembly Elections with Nomination Filing Completion

Political activities in Sikkim have gained momentum on the last day of filing nomination papers for the simultaneous election of the lone Lok Sabha seat and 32 seats of the State Legislative Assembly which is scheduled to be held in the first phase on the 19th of the next month.

Incumbent State Chief Minister and ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha(SKM) leader Prem Singh Tamang and former Chief Minister and Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) leader Pawan Kumar Chamling are filing their nomination papers today. SKM, SDF, the newly formed Citizen Action Party (CAP), BJP, Congress and an independent candidate are in the electoral battle for the lone Lok Sabha seat of the State.

As many as 18 candidates of different political parties filed their nomination papers yesterday. Among the prominent candidates who had filed their nomination papers included incumbent State Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, and Sonam Lama from the ruling SKM, former Minister Sonam Gyatcho Lepcha from SDF, Narendra Kumar Subba from BJP, Ganesh Kumar Rai, the Chief Ministerial candidate of CAP. Scrutiny of nomination papers will be held tomorrow and the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers is on the 30th of this month.

The ruling SKM and Opposition parties- the SDF and the CAP are fielding their candidates in all 32 seats of the State Assembly, BJP in 31 seats and Congress in 18 seats. The ruling SKM, SDF, BJP, CAP and Congress are the main political parties fighting in this election. In the current State Legislature ruling SKM has 19 MLAs, BJP 12 and SDF 1.

In the last simultaneous election for the 32 seats of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and the lone Lok Sabha seat of the State, the SKM and the SDF had a tough fight. SKM secured 47.46 per cent of the total polled votes while SDF got 43.92 per cent. About 4.7 per cent voted for the BJP and 1.13 per cent in favour of the Congress. Both BJP and Congress could not even open their accounts in the last State Assembly election. Later, the BJP could manage to represent 12 seats in the State legislature with 10 MLAs defecting from SDF and winning two seats in the by-elections.

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