The Pawan Kumar Chamling-led Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) has announced its candidates for the upcoming Sikkim by-polls on October 21 for three assembly seats. During the meeting, the party's parliamentary board has cleared the candidature of Moses Rai from Poklok-Kamrang constituency, Nuk Tshering Bhutia from Martam-Rumtek and Rinzing Ongmu from Gangtok seat, an official statement claimed on Saturday. By-polls were required after the MLAs who had contested two Assembly seats vacated one. While the SDF bagged the Poklok-Kamrang and Martam-Rumtek constituency seats earlier this year, the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) secured a seat in Gangtok.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which did not secure any seats in the Sikkim Assembly elections earlier this year, has decided to tie up with the ruling SKM in the state for the by-polls which will be held on October 2. BJP's Sikkim in-charge Nitin Navin said on Sunday that the two parties have decided to work together to speed up development in the border state with BJP contesting the by-polls from Gangtok and Martam-Rumtek constituency, while the ruling SKM will contest for Poklok-Kamrang seat.
Assembly elections were held in the State simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections in April. The SDF party, which had ruled Sikkim for five successive terms between 1994 and 2019, suffered a major loss post elections, with 10 of its 13 MLAs joining the BJP and two others switching over to SKM. Ram Madhav, national secretary of BJP, claimed that more than two-thirds members of the SDF wanted the party to be merged with the BJP and hence the national party now has a chance to govern Sikkim. The SDF party has 15 seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly with one leader contesting from two constituencies, which gets the number of members to 13. With 10 legislators joining the BJP, the SDF now stands deserted with just one or two members.
''I welcome all those who have joined the BJP today. SDF is the opposition in Sikkim. Now that the parties have come together, BJP can take up constructive opposition in the state. Under the guidance of party president Amit Shah and JP Nadda, the ten legislators have been accepted to the BJP'', Madhav said.
(With PTI inputs)