Gangtok: Sikkim is geared for the first-ever non-partisan municipal elections in the State’s history. But it seems not all is well in the run-up to these elections. In Lower Sichey, which has five candidates competing, one of the candidates, Bimala Gurung, has alleged that almost 2,000 voters from the ward are missing from the electoral book.
Gurung, a first-timer in the electoral field, has claimed electoral fraud and said even her name and that of her family has gone missing in the third instalment of the electoral book of voter details.
“Initially when we got the first electoral book, there were 5,208 voters. The District Collector here told us there were a few mistakes in the cover of the electoral book, where it shows a lower number, and that this would be rectified. But in the third instalment of the same book, after all, rectifications, the number came down to 3,382 voters. Where did the other voters go? My name is missing from the list, so are the names of many from our village in Sushanta Gram below Paljor Stadium. We think this is fraudulent largely because most of my supporters’ names have gone missing now,” Gurung told EastMojo.
The voters, as well as Gurung and her family, were previously from the Lingding Ward, but now their names have gone missing. ” In today’s book, the ward’s name was stuck above the earlier voters list name. How can they do such a thing? When the name can be stuck in such a manner above, which clearly shows that the electoral book was earlier from Upper Sichey now they are terming the same to be from Lower Sichey by pasting a paper above it. This book is from Upper Sichey but the sticker is from Lower Sichey, they are trying to take away the voters”, stated Gurung.
Another voter and supporter of Gurung shared, ” If we knew it would be so chaotic between Upper and Lower Sichey, we would have wanted Lingding Ward to be separate. We will not go with Lower Sichey. Give us the Lingding ward separately. Before also, we were from the Lingding ward. The previous Councilor was also from Lingding Ward. Where did Lingding Ward go? We do not need Lower Sichey Ward”.
District Collector Ragul K, who serves as the returning officer from East District, refused to comment urging EastMojo to come tomorrow.