Monday, August 18, 2014

Rangang-Yangang bye-elections set for 13 Sept, expected to be at least a three-cornered contest

GANGTOK, 17 Aug: The Election Commission of India has fixed the date for bye-elections for Rangang-Yangang constituency of South Sikkim vacated by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling who has retained Namchi-Singhithang [having contested from both in the Assembly elections]. The bye-election set for 13 September will present an interesting contest with at least three parties expected to make a strong bid.
This being the Chief Minister’s home constituency will see the SDF wanting to further improve on its performance even as the SKM, buoyed by its 10 seat presence in the Assembly on debut, wanting to put up a strong fight in hopes of improving on the blank it drew from West and South districts earlier this year. And then there is the BJP which is keen to field a strong candidate, energized by its sweep at the national level.
A senior SKM functionary mentioned that the party will definitely contest the bye-poll because it needs to build a momentum for the local body elections expected in about another year’s time.
BJP office bearers in turn share that the party is confident to bagging a strong candidate for the bye-elections. The Congress does not appear inclined towards contesting the elections and there is always the chance of some independents joining the fray.
The 12 April elections had gone in favour of Mr. Chamling who beat SKM’s Bikash Basnet by a margin of 32% of the votes polled. As is expected this time, the contest on 12 April was also a three-way battle, the only difference being that it was Congress instead of BJP going up against SDF and SKM the last time around.
The coming week will clear up the situation with the notification scheduled for 20 August and the last for filing of nominations set for 27 August, scrutiny for 28th, withdrawal of nomination forms till 30 August and polling on 13 September. Counting is slated for 16 September.
With the announcement of bye-elections the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the South District [subject to partial modification as issued vide Commission’s instruction No. 437/INST/2012/CC&BE,  dated 26th April, 2012 and  No. 437/INST/2013/CC&BE, dated 21st October, 2013], an official press communiqué informs.

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