BJP announces candidates for Sikkim assembly, LS polls


Gangtok (Sikkim) [India]: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday announced the list of 14 candidates who will be contesting for the 32 seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. In addition to the Assembly candidates, the BJP also revealed its choice for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Sikkim.

The party has fielded Dinesh Chandra Nepal, a former bureaucrat in the Sikkim Government, as the party’s candidate for this seat.

Among the 14 candidates for the 2024 assembly elections, the BJP has retained two sitting legislators.

Sikkim BJP President DR Thapa, the sitting legislator from the Upper Burtuk constituency, defected from the Sikkim Democratic Front party and has secured the ticket from his home constituency. Similarly, MLA Narendra Kumar Subba, who also joined the BJP in 2019 following Thapa, has retained his Maneybong Dentam constituency.

The candidate declaration comes in the wake of the alliance call-off between the BJP and the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party on March 23. This decision was made by Sikkim BJP President DR Thapa following a meeting with party leadership in New Delhi. On Sunday, four sitting legislators resigned from the BJP party.

Sonam Tshering Venchungpa, elected from the Martam Rumtek constituency, along with three defectors from the Sikkim Democratic Front party – Raj Kumari Thapa (Yangang-Rangang), Tashi Thendup Bhutia (Barfung), and Pintso Namgyal Lepcha (Dzongu) – also resigned from the BJP party.

Among the other prominent candidates declared, former legislator Tseten Tashi Bhutia has been awarded the coveted Sangha seat, a non-territorial constituency for religious propagation in the state. Bhutia has been one of the biggest propagators of the protection of old laws of Sikkim under Article 371F of the Indian Constitution. Tseten Tashi has also been a great uniter of the Bhutia Lepcha communities of the state, serving as the convener of the Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC).

Other BJP candidates include Kinjong Sherap Bhutia from the Yuksam Tashiding constituency, Sanchaman Limboo from Yangthang, Sancho Lepcha from Rinchenpong, Phurba Dorjee Sherpa from Daramdin, Purna Singh Subba from Soreng Chakung, Pahalman Kami from Zoom Salghari, Tashi Dadul Bhutia from Barfung, Arjun Rai from Poklok Kamrang, Sangey Gyatso Bhutia from Gnathang Machong, Udai Gurung from Arithang, and Ugen Nedup Bhutia from the Kabi Lungchok constituency.

The Lok Sabha election in Sikkim is scheduled to take place in a single phase on April 19, 2024. The counting of votes will be done on June 4.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prem Das Rai of the Sikkim Democratic Front secured victory. Indra Hang Subba of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) won the lone Lok Sabha seat in Sikkim in 2019. 

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