Published On: Tue, Jan 9th, 2024

BJP set to win Sikkim Rajya Sabha seat uncontested

Gangtok: BJP nominee DT Lepcha is set to win the Rajya Sabha election in Sikkim uncontested with no other candidate filing the nomination papers, officials said on Tuesday.

The scrutiny of the nomination papers will take place on Wednesday

Lepcha, the MLA of Gnathang Machong in Pakyong district, would have anyway won the election with the ruling SKM extending support to him. The BJP and the SKM together account for 31 of the assembly’s total 32 seats.

The stipulated time for the filing of nomination ended at 3 pm, and only Lepcha’s papers were received by the office of the Returning Officer, the assembly secretariat said. The scrutiny of the nomination papers will take place on Wednesday, it said.

Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang and BJP state unit president DR Thapa accompanied Lepcha when he filed his nomination papers at the assembly. Lepcha was a minister in the previous SDF government, and held portfolios such as Buildings & Housing, and Transport.

In the 32-member Sikkim assembly, SKM has 19 members, BJP has 12 and the SDF has one member. BJP did not win any seat in the last assembly elections, in which the SKM came to power. Lepcha along with nine MLAs of the SDF switched over to the BJP, making it the second largest party in the assembly overnight. Later, the BJP also won by-elections to two seats, taking its tally to 12.

Lepcha’s Rajya Sabha nomination is being considered as his reward for helping the BJP become a major player in the Himalayan state. The lone Rajya Sabha seat in the state is at present held by two-term MP Hishey Lachungpa of the opposition SDF. His tenure will end on February 23. The polling for the election was scheduled on January 19.

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