Political parties welcome apolitical municipal elections

Friday, Feb 26, 2021 07:45 [IST]

Last Update: Friday, Feb 26, 2021 02:10 [IST]

Political parties welcome apolitical municipal elections

GANGTOK,: Political parties in Sikkim have welcomed the announcement of election dates for the urban local bodies by the State Election Commission on Thursday.
SKM | Speaking with SIKKIM EXPRESS, SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling said the party welcomes the announcement of the municipal elections dates.
“Elections for the municipal bodies in Sikkim could not be held in its scheduled time due to the pandemic situation. Now the situation has almost normalised and various restrictions have been lifted, the dates for municipal elections were announced which we welcome,” said Khaling.
Municipal polls are being held in a non-party based manner following a 2020 amendment in the Sikkim Municipality Act.
“Any individual from the civil society can file their nomination and contest the elections independently. We believe that by holding non-party based civic body elections will help in institutionalisation of democracy,” said the SKM spokesperson.
Khaling shared that the candidates would have to campaign for themselves under the symbol given by the State Election Commission. The candidate who has majority support of the people in his or her ward will win the election, he said.
BJP | State BJP president D.B. Chauhan said the party welcomes the announcement of the elections for the Sikkim civic bodies. Elections, whether at local level or national level, are the soul of a democracy where the people get a chance to elect their representative, he said to SIKKIM EXPRESS.
Chauhan said the party will not be fielding candidates as the municipal polls are being conducted in a non-party basis. He mentioned that the BJP believes that the best individuals of the society should come forward and contest from their respective wards. We wish to see people who have contributed greatly to their local society or can do much more for their locality to come up as independent candidates, he said. Such candidates would have our support as we want able persons as people’s choices in the civic bodies, he added.
SDF | Elections are the lifeline of a democracy and people needs to be represented, said SDF chief spokesperson M.K. Subba on the announcement of Sikkim municipal polls. He said the civic polls in Sikkim were scheduled and now the dates have been declared.
Subba pointed out that Sikkim is still under Disaster Management Act as Covid pandemic, though on a declining trend, has not totally gone away.
“In this situation, we are not sure how the State Election Commission would conduct the municipal elections. We expect the authorities to share more details on the protocols for conducting the elections as the pandemic has not gone away. The authorities need to make special protocols so that elections are conducted without risking people’s safety,” said the SDF chief spokesperson.
“The Sikkim government’s performance on Covid management was pathetic and the lowest ranked in the country. The fear of Covid still lurks among the people. In this scenario, people need solid reassurances that their lives would not be endangered while taking part in the election process,” said Subba.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi