Lok Sabha, Assembly polls in Sikkim tomorrow
Gangtok: Sikkim is set to hold simultaneous polls for its lone Lok Sabha constituency and 32 Assembly seats tomorrow.
An electorate of 370,731, including 1,79,650 female voters, are eligible to participate.
Security for the poll would be provided by 3,500 policemen and 15 companies of the West Bengal police.
In all 538 polling stations have been set up.
In the Lok Sabha seat, SKM’s Tek Nath Dhakal would give sitting SDF MP Prem Das Rai a tough fight. BJP, Congress, Trinamool and Aam Aadmi Party have also put up candidates.
With support growing for the newly-formed Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front is presented with a strong challenge to its 20-year-old uninterrupted rule.
The outgoing Assembly is without any opposition.
There were 121 contestants for the 32 Assembly seats and six for the Lok Sabha seat.
SKM leader Prem Singh Tamang, known as P S Golay, is a major contender for the chief minister. After breaking away from Mr Chamling last year to form his new party, he is fighting from Namthang-Rateypani seat in South Sikkim district against his rival SDF’s sitting minister Tilu Gurung.
Mr Chamling would be contesting from two places-Namchi-Singhithang and Rangang-Yangang.
Other prominent candidates included SKM’s Bharati Sharma from Soreng-Chakung seat.
The Buddhist minority wanted their Karmapa to be enthroned in his seat in Rumtek monastery while the Nepali community, which form almost half of the populace, are seeking tribal status.
Out of the 32 Assembly seats, two are reserved for SC while 12 are meant for the Bhutia and Lepcha communities.
More than 2,900 monks from over 100 monasteries would choose one among three Lamas contesting for the ‘Sangha‘ seat, unique to the state.
The Congress is contesting all the seats, while the BJP has put up candidates in 13 seats and Trinamool 7.
Besides, there were five independents contesting the Assembly polls.