Sikkim: By-elections to 3 assembly seats to be held in 6 months
Gangtok: Following the resignation of three winning candidates from one of their two constituencies each, from where they had won in Sikkim Assembly Elections 2019, by-polls to three constituencies -- Gangtok, Martam-Rumtek and Poklok-Kamrang -- will be held within the next six months.
HRD minister Kunga Nima Lepcha, who had won from both the Shyari and Gangtok constituencies as Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) candidate, has left the Gangtok seat.
Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) senior leader DT Lepcha resigned from Martam-Rumtek constituency and opted to remain as the MLA from Gnathang-Machong.
One of the longest serving chief ministers of the country, Pawan Kumar Chamling, who is also the president of the SDF, has left the Poklok-Kamrang constituency as its MLA.
The resignation letters were submitted to Speaker LB Das during the first session of the Xth Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Monday.
The by-polls are crucial for both the ruling SKM and Opposition SDF. The ruling party has a simple majority of 17 seats and cannot afford a setback in the by-poll of three constituencies.
Similarly, the SDF would not want to lose the by-poll as defeat means lesser number for it in the House and more teeth for the SKM government. Elsewhere, Golay, who is not an elected representative, will seek to contest the bypolls from Poklok-Kamrang constituency in South Sikkim. Kamrang constituency is the only vacant general constituency which is lying vacant. Both Martam-Rumtek and Gangtok constituencies are reserved for Bhutia-Lepcha communities.
Martam-Rumtek, among the three constituencies, would be interesting as the SDF won by a narrow margin of only 73 votes.
In two other constituencies of Poklok-Kamrang and Gangtok, the victories for the respective candidates were straight-forward.