Sikkim’s 32 assembly and one Lok Sabha seat to go to polls on April 19 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Sikkim’s 32 assembly and one Lok Sabha seat to go to polls on April 19

May 10, 2024 11:48 AM IST

Sikkim is likely to witness a triangular contest between the SKM, SDF and the newly formed Citizen Action Party (CAP)

Siliguri: Voting for the 32 assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat in Sikkim will be held simultaneously on April 19, the first of the seven phases scheduled for general elections.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced the schedule for the 2024 general elections (Representative Photo)
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced the schedule for the 2024 general elections (Representative Photo)

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced the schedule for the 2024 general elections commencing on April 19 in seven phases with the last phase on June 1. The counting of votes will take place on June 4.

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The Himalayan state’s ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), which currently controls 19 assembly constituencies and the Lok Sabha seat, is leaving no stone unturned to stay in power.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in alliance with the SKM, has 12 legislators while Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), which was in power for 25 years till its defeat in 2019, has only one MLA.

Sikkim is likely to witness a triangular contest between the SKM, SDF and the newly formed Citizen Action Party (CAP), political observers feel.

Also Read: Lok Sabha polls: Assam to have 3 phase voting for 14 seats, starting April 19

Chief minister Prem Singh Tamang-led SKM has left the other parties behind on the campaign trail after it recently ordered permanent jobs for around 27,000 temporary government employees, ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The government has also recruited around 15,000 people on a contractual basis.

Opposition parties see these as SKM’s trump card since more than 25 per cent of voters in the state are government employees. Sikkim has 0.46 million voters while the number of government employees is around 0.12 million.

All parties welcomed the ECI’s decision to hold simultaneous elections in Sikkim in the first phase. CM Tamang has been touring every part of the state since last month and meeting voters.

“SKM will win all 32 assembly seats and the Lok Sabha seat as well. SKM will make Sikkim prosperous,” Tamang said.

Hitting out at the SKM, SDF president and former chief minister Pawan Chamling, said that the current government’s regime is marked by violence and attacks on opposition supporters. “People want a change.”

Ganesh Rai, CAP’s chief ministerial candidate said that Sikkim will vote to form a clean government and safeguard the state’s special status.

Sikkim, which became the 22nd state of India in 1975, enjoys special status under Article 371F of the Constitution which grants the state’s government and citizens 16 special powers and privileges.

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