Campaigning for Sikkim Assembly and LS seat ends
Posted on: 05:51 PM IST Apr 10, 2014
Campaigning for the 32 assembly seats and the lone Lok Sabha seat in Sikkim for which polling would be held on April 12 ended Thursday evening.
With support growing for the newly-formed Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), the ruling party Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) would have a tough fight to stay in power after a 20-year uninterrupted rule.
The outgoing Assembly was without any opposition and if Chief Minister Pawan Chamling celebrated his silver jubilee then he would be on his way to becoming India's longest serving Chief Minister beating the record of late CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu.
There are 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 top post in the Himalayan state.
After parting from Chamling last year to form his new party, he was contesting from Namthang-Rateypani seat in South Sikkim district. SDF's sitting minister Tilu Gurung will put up a fight against him from the seat.
Chamling would be contesting from two places - Namchi-Singhithang and Rangang-Yangang.
In Tumen-Lingi seat, SDF's chief whip Ugen T Gyatso Bhutia would fight against political newbie Nidup Tshering Lepcha.
Other prominent candidates included SKM's Bharati Sharma from Soreng-Chakung seat.
Issues related to ecology and protection of the old laws of Sikkim were at the forefront of the political debate during elections.
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.