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Campaign for 32 assembly seats, one LS constituency in Sikkim ends

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GANGKOK, April 17: The high-decibel campaign for 32 assembly seats and lone Lok Sabha constituency in Sikkim ended on Wednesday with all parties making last-ditch efforts to woo the electorate in the Himalayan state.

The campaigning for the Sikkim Assembly and lone Lok Sabha seat ended at 5 pm, officials said. Elections in Sikkim will be held on April 19, they said.

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Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Tamang, who is leading the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM)’s bid for a second successive term in power, concluded his campaigning in the Rhenock assembly constituency in Pakyong district from where he is contesting.

Tamang is also contesting from Soreng-Chakung constituency.

The SKM is contesting all the 32 Assembly seats.

The 56-year-old SKM supremo visited the Sai temple of Chalamthang to seek blessings of the deity before leading a car rally in the constituency to end his campaigning on a high note.

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“I offered prayers for the wellbeing; prosperity, and welfare of our beloved state and its people,” Tamang said in a social media post.

The SKM is seeking mandate on the nine-point guarantee of the chief minister, welfare measures for women and other sections of society and regularisation of service of 27,000-plus temporary employees.

In the 2019 elections, the SKM had won 17 seats and ended the 25-year rule of the Sikkim Democratic Front.

The opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) president and five-term former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling concluded his campaigning by interacting with the voters of the Poklok-Kamrang assembly constituency in his native Namchi district.

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Chamling is also contesting from the Namcheybung assembly constituency in Gangtok district.

The 74-year-old SDF patriarch is aiming to return to power on the promise to protect the special status of Sikkim and old laws as enshrined in Article 371 (F) of the constitution.

The SDF is contesting in all the 32 seats.

The BJP and the Citizen Action Party (CAP-Sikkim) leaders too extensively campaigned on the last day to woo the electorate.

The BJP is contesting in 31 Assembly seats out of the 32 seats while the CAP-Sikkim is contesting in 30 seats.

The polling for 32 assembly and one Lok Sabha seat will be held simultaneously on April 19.

The counting of votes for 32 assembly seats in Sikkim will be held on June 2, while that of the lone Lok Sabha seat will be on June 4.

There are 146 candidates in the fray on 32 Assembly seats, while 14 candidates are contesting on the lone Lok Sabha seat in Sikkim. (PTI)

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