Gangtok: The final countdown for the much-awaited by-elections has already begun and all the political parties are equally positive and confident towards their victory. Sikkim will witness the by-elections on Monday for three constituencies — Poklok-Kamrang, Gangtok and Martam-Rumtek. A total of 15 candidates are in fray.
Poklok-Kamrang is considered to be a violence-prone constituency due to frequent tussles between ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party (SKM) and opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF).
Chief minister PS Golay is confident of winning the seat. In fact, he has to win it as he has to be an elected MLA before his grace period ends. SDF has fielded young candidate Moses Rai. Former CM-cum-party president Pawan Kumar Chamling, who is campaigning for his candidates, expressed his confidence in winning all the three seats and to defeat the sitting CM, provided there is no violence and booth capturing incidents on the day of voting.
“After the recent attack on me, I fear that SKM will do anything to win this election. If there are free and fair elections and no interference from SKM supporters in Poklok-Kamrang then we will win for sure as the public mandate is with us in that constituency,” he said during a press conference in Gangtok on Friday.
He also expressed his disappointment towards the police officers and election authorities for acting like SKM cadres rather than government officials.
Meanwhile, Gangtok constituency will witness a four-cornered fight between BJP candidate YT Lepcha, first woman minister of the state Rinzing Ongmu of the SDF, independent candidate and senior politician Delay Namgyal Barfungpa and football icon Bhaichung Bhutia, the working president of the Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP).
All have expressed their confidence regarding their win after receiving overwhelming response from the public during their campaigns.
Independent candidate Delay said that the disappointing political activities and the dirty politics played by BJP made him contest this election. “Had SKM fielded their candidate then I wouldn’t have contested but they went on to alliance with BJP which made me fight for the existence of my state, our special rights under Article 371F and to save our state from outside forces,” said Delay.
Bhutia, on the other hand, has made his stand clear stating that he is contesting solely for Sikkim and its people. “Come and vote for Sikkim. People should rise above politics and come together for the state and our rights. Both SKM and SDF are BJP now, there is no regional party here except for HSP who is fighting for the state,” he appealed.
Martam-Rumtek constituency will witness a straight contest between BJP candidate Sonam Venchungpa and SDF candidate Nuk Tshering Bhutia.