Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Independent candidates prove a point by consolidating position
GANGTOK, October 29: Even as the first results began coming in, supporters from East Sikkim poured into the streets of Gangtok to celebrate the victory of their Panchayat candidates.
As the final votes were being tabulated and official announcements being made, the singing and sloganeering continued throughout the day here at the Paljor Stadium.
When the first results were declared at around 1 pm, the winning candidates were garlanded with khadas by jubilant supporters. To keep the revelry going, the winners were made to make a round of the Stadium by the supporters. Celebrations continued till they reach their respective wards with slogans in praise of the party and the candidate all along the way.
“I have won the election on a SDF party ticket with the symbol of an umbrella, which reflect the tremendous love and support of the people and I promise to live up to their expectations,” said PS Rai who won from West Pendam.
The womenfolk did not lag behind in the celebrations, with the 40 per cent reservation accorded to them. The fairer sex was presented well at the Paljor Stadium. “We are grateful towards the State Government for providing 40 per cent seat reservation for women,” said an overwhelmed Zangpo Sherpa who won from 14 Padamchen, 20 Pathing on a SDF ticket.
Rejoicing the triumph in a similar spirit were the Independent candidates, who formed an unexpected chunk in the winning list. Interestingly, most of the Independent candidates were pitted against SDF candidates and their victory could be signaling in the anti-incumbency factor. “Our victory shows that the public looked at the Panchayat poll beyond politics. It is all about rural development,” said a winner from South Sikkim.
Answering a query on the SDF party’s decision not to take in the winning Independent candidates, Durga Devi Acharaya, Independent winner from Taza Ward, Rhenock had this to say: “It will all depend upon the decision of the people of my Ward who have given me the mandate and nothing else. I shall do whatever my people will decide. But now, this is the time to celebrate.”
When asked the winners whether they would seclude people who did not vote for them from all the perks and benefits under the Government’s welfare scheme, most of the winners stated that they will strive to work for every one without partiality or prejudice.
“It is the decision of the people to elect their own representatives and the winners should now work for the people,” the losing candidates said.