Sikkim: The state underwent polls to elect the 32 members of the Legislative Assembly. Notably, the term of Sikkim Legislative Assembly ends on May 27, 2019.
Sikkim has been a stable state as its Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) has been ruling the north-east state since 1994.
Here is all you need to know about Sikkim Assembly Elections 2019:
Brisk polling has been recorded in Sikkim with 78.19 per cent of 4.30 lakh electorate exercising their franchise in 32 Assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat. The voting percentage, however, was a shade lower than 2014 polls, when the turnout stood at 83.85 per cent.
According to the data released by the Sikkim election office in the early hours of Friday, 78.55 per cent of 2,20,305 male voters and 77.81 per cent of 2,12,001 female voters have cast their votes.
There was no report of violence from any part of the state during the polling process, which continued till late on Thursday, an election department official said.
North Sikkim, which has three assembly seats, recorded the maximum turnout at 81.74 per cent, while the west, south and east registered 81.64, 78.07 and 75.60 per cent polling respectively.
With the conclusion of polls, the fate of 150 candidates in fray for 32 Assembly seats and eleven nominees contesting the lone Lok Sabha seat have been sealed in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, who is seeking an eighth successive term in the state, has exercised his franchise at Namchi New Secondary School in South Sikkim’s Namchi-Singhiyhang assembly seat.
The state witnessed a three-way fight between Chief Minister Pawan Chamling’s Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), former SDF Minister P.S. Golay-led the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), and footballer Bhaichung Bhutia’s Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP).
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress are also in the fray in Sikkim, that borders Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, HSP working president Bhaichung Bhutia and Chamling”s younger brother Rup Narayan Chamling are among prominent candidates in fray in the assembly polls.
Chamling, the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) president is contesting from two assembly seats – Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi Singhithang in his native South Sikkim, Bhutia, legendary footballer, is also trying his luck from two assembly constituencies – Gangtok (BL) and Tumen Lingi (B-L) seats in East and South Sikkim respectively.
A war of words erupted between the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) and the opposition Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) over the “inordinate delay” in the reservation of Assembly seats for certain communities.
Limboo and Tamang communities form over 30 per cent of Sikkim’s population. In 2014, Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) supremo and Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling had asserted that he would resign if the two communities were not allotted reserved seats before the 2019 Assembly polls.
The Limboo and Tamang communities, granted tribal status in 2002 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, have long been seeking reservation in the 32-member House, in line with the Lepchas and the Bhutias.
Although there is no provision for seat reservation in the Sikkim Assembly for the scheduled tribes, the Lepchas and Bhutias have been granted 12 seats under Article 371(F) of the Constitution, which protects the rights of the local people.
Important Dates, Facts and Figures:
Altogether 150 candidates are in the fray for 32 Assembly seats in Sikkim after three nominees withdrew their candidature on May 9, the last date for withdrawal, said Election officials. The candidates who withdrew their names are Ratan Singh Rai (Sikkim Republican Party), Nirmal Kumar Pradhan (Independent) and Dal Bahadur Karki (Congress).
There are 11 candidates in the fray for the lone Lok Sabha seat from Sikkim. Election to both the Lok Sabha seat and 32-member Assembly constituencies will be held simultaneously on April 11, they said.
The results of state assemblies will be declared on May 23, 2019, along with Lok Sabha polls.
(With agency inputs)