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Sikkim`s ruling SDF trying to reap fruits of the past

Last Updated: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 15:54

Gangtok: With zero opposition in the Sikkim Assembly, the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) is banking on the success of various development works during its 20 years of power in the state to seek a record mandate for the fifth time in a row.

SDF president and Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said they have been successful in crafting a model state in the last two decades of uninterrupted rule.

"Our efforts have borne fruits in the form of tremendous improvement in the quality of life of our fellow citizens," Chamling said in the party`s manifesto.

Peace, security and development are the major thrust areas on which SDF candidates are fighting the polls in all 32 Assembly constituencies of the state.

SDF had won all the 32 seats in the last Assembly elections leaving the House sans any opposition. This time, Assembly election will be held along with the Lok Sabha polls for the lone seat on April 12.

Party spokesperson Bhim Dahal told PTI that SDF wanted to continue with the development works and make the Himalayan border state financially self-sufficient.

Dahal said the state has made significant progress in the spheres of road infrastructure, agriculture, rural development, women empowerment, hydropower generation, etc.

Under Chamling`s leadership, Sikkim is on its way to become the country`s first fully fledged organic state within 2015 while the forest cover has also increased from 44 per cent to 47 per cent, he claimed.

The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), formed last year by dissident SDF MLA Prem Singh Tamang is hoping to win the hustings, riding on the anti-incumbency factor.

"People want change as they are fed up of one-party rule for so long," SKM general secretary Jacob Khaling said and accused the government of being neck deep in corruption.

SKM has promised to enforce austerity measures at all levels of governance, strong anti-corruption mechanisms like Lokayukta and CBI investigations into various deals.
Khaling said on coming to power they would probe corruption charges against the SDF government.
Besides SDF and SKM, Congress is the only party contesting all Assembly seats. BJP has candidates in 13 seats while Trinamool Congress has 7 nominees.

First Published: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 15:54
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