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Cong gears up for Sikkim

Posted by Ramesh Khati on August 21, 2009

GANGTOK, 20 AUG(The Statesman): The Congress has begun preparations for the forthcoming by-election in Sikkim. Stressing the need of an Opposition member in the 32-member state Assembly, the SPCC president and former chief minister Mr Nar Bahadur Bhandari slammed the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) for its involvement in “un-democratic practices” in the state Assembly.
Mr Bhandari claimed today that the Congress would field a candidate in the by-election for the Namchi-Singithang Assembly constituency in South Sikkim.
The election would be held on 15 September. The seat fell vacant after the chief minister and SDF president Mr Pawan Chamling resigned following his victory in both the Namchi-Singithang and Poklok-Kamrang seats of South Sikkim in the April Assembly elections.
The Sikkim Democratic Front had won all 32 Assembly seats in the elections.
The Congress has forwarded the names of two party members, Mr Yuva Raj Rai and Mr Avinash Yakha as prospective candidates for the Namchi-Singithang seat. The Congress is also expecting support of the Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad Party and the CPI-M in the by-poll.
Terming Sikkim as an EVM victim, the SPCC president criticized the SDF government for violating the model code of conduct by using the “questionable” EVMs in the Assembly and General elections in April 2009.
It may be mentioned, Mr Bhandari had filed a case in the Sikkim High Court and later in the Supreme Court questioning the credibility and integrity of the EVMs used in Sikkim after the 2004 elections.
“How can the state use the same EVMs while the case is sub-judice?” he questioned today.
According to Mr Bhandari, EVM demonstration conducted across the country revealed several flaws in the system.
Mr Bhandari himself being a member of the EVM demonstration forum, said that
in one instance the resultant votes shown for 22 button pushes was only 2 while in another case 4 button pushes showed 22 votes cast in the EVM. He further said that similar demonstrations could be conducted in Sikkim subject to the people’s demand.


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