Sikkim chief electoral officer R Telang

Gangtok: The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday announced the dated for Lok Sabha elections 2019. In Sikkim, polling will be held simultaneously for the state assembly election and the lone Lok Sabha seat on April 11 during the first phase of the election.

The announcement was made on Sunday evening by EC at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The code of Conduct came into force right after the announcement was made.

Addressing a press meet at his office, Sikkim chief electoral officer (CEO) R Telang announced the dates for the electoral process as such:

Filing of nominations: March 18- 25

Counting of votes: May 23

Scrutiny: March 26

Withdrawal of nominations: March 28

“According to recordd till January 2019, there are 4,23,167 voters in the State,” Telang said. There are 567 polling booths, he added.

Thirteen political parties, namely two state registered and recognised parties – Sikkim Democratic Front and Sikkim Krantikari Morcha; four registered and un-recognised parties – Sikkim Sangram Parishad, Hamro Sikkim Party, Sikkim Republic Party and Sikkim Rajya Manch; seven national parties including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee are in the fray this year.

Telang highlighted that the DCs and the SPs of the respective districts will appoint teams and will come into force with immediate effect.

Talking about the preparations, Telang announced the following:

* 24*7 control room has come into force.

* IT department has already acted upon the direction of the EC.

* One assistant observer for each assembly constituency.

* Three flying squads in each assembly constituency. If required, the number can be increased.

* In total, 90 flying squads will be operational all the time to respond to any violation of any election code of conduct.

* Video surveillance team to record the meetings conducted by political parties.

* Static surveillance team to check the flow of any suspicious items.

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