Sikkim’s Ruling Party, Opposition Name Candidates For Lok Sabha, State Polls

Ahead of crucial assembly polls in the Himalayan state of Sikkim for its 32-member assembly — due on April 19 simultaneously with the Lok Sabha election — the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha has declared candidates for all seats and the lone Lok Sabha MP. The party has retained sitting MP Indra Hang Subba.

Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang was named the candidate from two constituencies — Rhenock (Pakyong District) and his native Soreng Chakung (Soreng District).

Mr Tamang replaces his son Aditya Tamang as the candidate from Soreng Chakung.

The Chief Minister who has won the by elections in 2019 from Poklok Kamrang constituency in Namchi district, has now given ticket to his wife Krishna Kumari Rai, a first-timer.

Three BJP MLAs who had resigned from the party on March 15, have been awarded SKM party tickets.

Sonam Tshering Venchungpa, who was elected in the 2019 by-election as the BJP MLA from Martm Rumtek constituency, has retained his seat with SKM.

Similarly, two leaders who defected from the Sikkim Democratic Front in 2019 and later joined the BJP, Raj Kumari Thapa from Yangang Rangang and Pintso Namgyal Lepcha from Dzongu constituency, have also retained their seats with the SKM party.

The SKM has dropped four legislators, including Aditya Tamang from Soreng Chakung constituency, Bishnu Kumar Sharma from Rhenock, Karma Loday Bhutia from Kabi Lungchok and SDF defector Em Prasad Sharma from Namcheybong constituency.

Protests took place outside SKM party office in Gangtok following the declaration of party tickets.

The agitated people from the Kabi Lungchok constituency opposed the SKM’s decision to award ticket to Thilay Tshering Bhutia, a former minister and long-time legislator of the SDF regime.

The SDF (Sikkim Democratic Front) has declared 26 candidates for the assembly polls, 11 of who are former legislators. Former two-time Lok Sabha MP Prem Das Rai has once again secured the MP ticket.

Former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling will be contesting from Poklok Kamrang constituency, which he had relinquished for the by-elections in 2019. He was the sitting legislator from Namchi Singhithang, where Bimal Rai has now been given ticket.

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha’s rebel legislator Mani Kumar Sharma has secured ticket from his home constituency in Singtam Khamdong.

Bhaichung Bhutia who joined SDF in November, has secured his native Barfung constituency. Former Gangtok Municipal Commissioner Ashish Rai, who was denied ticket in 2019, returned to the party last year having secured the coveted Arithang constituency as SDF candidate for 2024 elections.

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