Lok Sabha Election 2019, Sikkim profile: SDF, SNC, HSP in poll fray to win state's lone parliamentary seat

The northeastern state of Sikkim, which shares its borders with Bhutan and Tibet, has a lone parliamentary seat and 32 Assembly seats. The state joined India in the year 1975, becoming the 22nd state in the country.

This year, Sikkim is one of the four states holding simultaneous elections for its lone Lok Sabha seat as well as its Assembly constituencies. The state is currently under the hold of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) at both the state and the parliamentary level. Lying on the eastern Himalayan region, Sikkim has traditionally stayed away from voting national parties to power.

Roughly 6.1 lakh people residing in this state have swayed between Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling’s (SDF) or Lendhup Dorjee Kazi’s Sikkim National Congress, with the former having tasted success more often. This Lok Sabha election is important for the state as several other regional parties have thrown their hat into the fray. Among them is football star Bhaichung Bhutia and his newly formed party Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP). Bhutia is looking to form an alliance with regional parties to topple five-time winner SDF.

The SDF, which had agreed to be a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led North Eastern Democratic Alliance (NEDA), has now decided to fight alone. Meanwhile, Conrad Sangma’s National Peoples’ Party has also decided to field a candidate from Sikkim. Conrad may gain points for having vocally disapproving the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Chamling, who has been chief minister for five terms, will face stiff competition from regional parties.

1. Sikkim Lok Sabha Constituency

 Constituency number: 1

Total electors: 3,70,065 (2014 estimates)

Female electors: 1,79,650

Male electors: 1,90,415

Reserved: No

Delimited: Yes. In 2008, the limits of this constituency were changed. The 32 Assembly segments were redefined. Yoksam and Tashiding Assembly constituencies were joined to form one, as were Chakung and Soreong; and Martam and Rumtek. With the exception of five assembly constituencies—Richenpong, Melli, Rhenock, Gangtok and Sangha—the rest were either dissolved or joined with new regions.

 Lok Sabha Election 2019, Sikkim profile: SDF, SNC, HSP in poll fray to win states lone parliamentary seat

Tourism, horticulture and agriculture form the backbone of the state’s economy. Kailas98/Wikimedia Commons

Assembly Constituencies: Yoksam-tashiding, Yangthang, Maneybung-dentam, Gyalshing-barnyak, Rinchenpong, Daramdin, Soreong-chakung, Salghari-zoom, Barfung, Poklok-kamrang, Namchi-singhithang, Melli, Namthang-rateypani, Temi-namphing, Rangang-yangang, Tumen-lingi, Khamdong-singtam, West pendam, Rhenock, Chujachen, Gnathang-machong, Namcheybung, Shyari, Martam-rumtek, Upper tadong, Arithang, Gangtok, Upper burtuk, Kabi lungchuk, Djongu, Lachen mangan, Sangha

Results in last 4 elections: In 1999, Bhim PD Dahal won the election with a ticket from the SDF. Nakul Das Rai of SDF won the majority again in 2004 election. In 2009, Prem Das Rai, also from SDF, was elected MP from Sikkim. Prem was re-elected in 2014 when he won by a margin of over 41,000 votes.

Demographics: According to the Census of 2011, there are 6,10,577 people living in Sikkim. Almost 58 percent of these people are Hindus and with 27 percent, Buddhists form a sizeable part of the population. Only 25 percent of the total population lives in urban areas. Tourism, horticulture and agriculture form the backbone of the state’s economy. The constituency has remained loyal to SDF.

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Updated Date: Apr 05, 2019 16:05:56 IST