Thursday, August 23, 2007



GANGTOK, August 22: The Opposition parties in the State has asked the State Government to immediately correct the discrepancies in the delimitation of Panchayat and Municipality wards before the finalisation of the Panchayat and Municipality voters list.
In a press release signed by Nar Bahadur Bhandari, President, Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee, HR Pradhan, President, State Bharatiya Janata Party and Tara Shrestha, General Secretary, Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad, the Opposition have said that the demarcation/delimitation of the wards should be made such that the variation in the population or voters does not differ by a margin of 10% between the wards in all the Gram Panchayat, Municipality Corporation, Municipality Council and Nagar Panchayats as necessitated by the situation. “In any case the voters of Nagar Panchayat is not expected to be lower than of a Gram Panchayat as the former is urban area and the latter a rural area.”
As citied in the release, in the Gangtok Municipal Corporation 01, Bojoghari has 288 voters, 04- Rongynek has 1220 voters, 09-Sichey has 6130 voters and Gangtok B has 7251 voters and Gangtok A has 8087 voters, where in the Opposition leaders has stated that these variations are huge and cannot be accepted.
The release has cited several other examples, including 03-West Padam – 3 Sakhu has 330 votes and 6-Swaney has 20 voters, Pakyong Nagar Panchayat 2 – Dikling-Tsalamthang has 902 voters and 4-Naibutar has 5 voters, Singtam Municipal Council 4 – Lal Bazaar has 1369 voters and 6 – Lower Namphing has 366 voters, Jorethang-Naya Bazar Municipal Council 1–Lalshore has 72 votes and 5-Mazigoan has 1244 votes, Gyalshing 6 – Lower Umchung (507 votes), 31-Sukdung, Kamling 1 – Rehsi Tinzerbong has 527 voters.
The release also shows variations like Naibutar under Pakyong Nagar Panchayat with only 5 votes and Panchey-Samsing with 84 votes thus presenting that the number of votes is less than the votes of a gram Panchayat. It goes on to argue that the 32-Martam Nazitam 2-Upper Martam has as high as 811 votes.
Stating that Constitution on India does not speak of bifurcation, the party heads have demanded that the reservation of Backward Classes if made as OBC and MBC should be extended for the Scheduled Tribe also as Bhutia-Lepcha and Limboo-Tamang in both cases.
Instead of having a separate Municipality Corporation, Municipality Councils and Nagar Panchayats, the Opposition parties have suggested whether “Sikkim Municipality Corporation” could be formed with all the towns and bazaars of Sikim as its wards. According to the release, the “Sikkim Municipality Corporation could be a satellite type of Municipality Corporation with its wards located at different places so that the requirement of population of 70,000 or more for the Municipal Corporation, 5,000 and more but less than 70,000 for Municipal Council and 3,000 or more but less than 5,000 for Nagar Panchayat as per section 13 of the Sikkim Municipalities Act, 2007 (Act No. 5 of 2007) and can also be fulfilled besides the compliance of Article 243 of the constitution of India and safeguard of the subsection (k) of Article 371F of the constitution of India.”