Monday, October 08, 2007

SDF wins rural 'Panchayat' polls

PHOTO:DrPawan Chamling with Union Panchayati-raj Minister Aiyer

Gangtok, Oct. 7: The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) has won the Sikkim panchayat polls, though the elections are scheduled on October 26.
The poll scenario after the withdrawal of candidates on October 5 shows a clear 66 per cent of the seats going uncontested in favour of the ruling party.
Of the 889 panchayat seats, the SDF has won 595 without a contest. This was declared yesterday by the state election commission. Elections will now be held for the remaining 294 seats.
The SDF has won West Sikkim with as many as 246 of the total 283 seats going uncontested. In South district, 106 of the 257 seats will see a contest. In the East district, SDF has won 121 of the 243 seats uncontested. Up north, the ruling front bagged 77 of the 106 seats without a fight.
Similarly, in the zilla panchayat polls 49 per cent of the seats in the state have been claimed by the SDF without a contest. The ruling front has garnered 45 zilla panchayat seats out of the total 93. The remaining 47 will also go to polls on October 26.
West district displayed its loyalty to the ruling party with no opposing candidates in 17 of the 25 zilla panchayat seats. In South Sikkim the SDF has already won 10 of the 23 zilla panchayat seats uncontested. The East district will have elections to 17 zilla panchayat seats, while nine have been won by the SDF without contest. In the North district SDF has won half of the 18 seats. Elections for one seat from Navey-Sothak in East Sikkim will be rescheduled since all candidates have withdrawn their nominations on Friday.
The rural polls this year have seen a large number of independent candidates, who are the primary rivals of the ruling party. The Opposition in the state have mostly drawn a blank with the state Congress, CPM and the Sikkim Gorkha Prajatantrik Party putting up candidates in only a few seats.