Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chamling campaigns at home as a candidate for the first time PURAN TAMANG

NAMCHI, 28 Mar: Sikkim Democratic Front president, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, arrived home to campaign today, approaching voters in his village for the first time as a candidate as well. Mr. Chamling convened well-attended campaign meetings at Yangang and Lingmo under Rangang-Yangang constituency. This was the final day of his election campaign in the south district.
Born and brought up in Yangang, Mr. Chamling moved to Damthang constituency when he graduated to Assembly elections in 1984. He was a panchayat in Yangang before moving up to the Assembly. Yangang, till 2009, came under Khamdong constituency which was a Scheduled Caste reserved constituency till then.
While addressing the people, Mr. Chamling said that he was contesting the elections from Rangang-Yangang on public demand and shared that over the next five years, he hoped to interact with the people of his home constituency on a one-to-one basis and fulfill their demands and aspirations, collaborating to make it the most developed constituency.
In what was clearly an emotional moment for him, approaching voters at home for the first time as a candidate, Mr. Chamling shared that Rangang-Yangang will always be a special constituency for him because it was here that his worldview was shaped and where his political roots were struck.
He said that he decided to contest from his home constituency this time so that he could do something substantial for it.
“The people of Yangang have seen what a son of Yangang has done for Sikkim in the past 20 years and now I want to work hands-on in creating opportunities for the people of this constituency in the coming term so that they can reap the benefits for several future generations,” he said.
He highlighted that with the aim to infuse an intellectual spirit into the people of Yangang, he brought a Central university to the area, he urged the people to make the best use of the opportunities thus created.
“Within the next five years, the Sikkim University would be completely functional from Yangang itself,” he announced, pointing out that because of the Sikkim University, employment opportunities have been created here along with an expansion in the scope for business and trade.
“This,” he said, “will ensure the future and security of the people of the area and hence it saddens me that there were still some sections which are opposing this.”
He went on to share details of other projects planned for the area like the skywalk at Bhaley-Dhunga.
On the current politics, he underlined that the SDF has never misguided the youth of the state and has instead concentrated on equipping them with new skills and creating opportunities for them. “Those in the Opposition, however, are consistently at work to mislead the youth and distract them away from opportunities awaiting them,” he said.
He announced that the SDF would continue to prioritise development and empowerment for the Sikkimese in its next term as well and said that the party needs to be brought back to government to give continuity to the initiatives and missions being pursued for the past two decades.
The people’s mandate was to decide whether Sikkim should move forward or regress, he said, adding that he was confident that the people will choose the former and ensure that not only did SDF win, but that it won so convincingly that the Opposition candidates forfeited their deposits as well.
He cautioned the people that parties might approach them with communal and partisan appeals, and stressed that such overtures should be spurned because such attitudes were counterproductive and dangerous.
Among the priority pursuits for the next SDF government would be Scheduled Tribe status for all remaining communities of Sikkim, Income Tax exemption for old settlers, including government employees from outside who joined service before 1979, he added.
The meeting was also attended by the Lok Sabha candidate, PD Rai.

General Observer reviews election preparedness in West Sikkim

GYALSHING, 28 Mar [IPR]: A meeting was called by the General Observer, Anwaruddin Chaudhary along with the Expenditure Observer, RO (West), SP (West), AROs and officers (Election Dept) at the chamber of the Returning Officer (West) at DAC today.
The meeting started with the Returning Officer briefing the General Observer about the ongoing preparation for the upcoming elections in the district.
He informed that all relevant documents have been placed in the public domain as per the directions from the Election Commission of India; all papers are being forwarded to the Chief Secretary as well.
The Returning Officer also informed that on the directions of the Commission, they have issued voter slips to the missed out voters. Adding to this he informed that a special voter slip campaign is scheduled on 30 March where voter slips would be distributed to the general public in all 133 polling stations.
He then informed that webcasting on 20 polling stations will be done during elections and that trials were already conducted in two such polling stations on 27 March.
The Returning Officer informed that national and international banks should remain vigilant and in case of any suspicious activity or transactions above Rs1 lakh, they should come forward and report to authorities immediately.
Senior SP (West), DB Giri informed that the law and order situation is under control in the district. The General Observer then gave his overall view and stated he was quite satisfied with the preparations at hand.
He said that central forces should be placed at critical polling stations of the district. Training of micro-observers and training on EVMs are essential requisites, he added.

VoterSpeak.. What the Sikkim voter wants from the next government..

“Workshops should be organized to address the problem of growing suicide and drug abuse cases in Sikkim. Mass awareness programs should be conducted for the people especially among the teenagers involving schools and NGOs”.


Voter Slips to be issued at Polling Stations on Sunday

GANGTOK, 28 Mar [IPR]: A special camp to issue Voters Slips to voters of the state is being organized on Sunday, 30 March, at all Polling Stations of the state.
On this day, the Booth Level Officers will be stationed at their respective Polling Stations from 9 a.m. onwards throughout the state to issue voters slip to the voters.

The first round of Voters Slip was issued in January and this initiative has again been directed to facilitate the voters. This is also to clarify that the voters should either bring their Voters Slip or the EPIC Card on the poll day to cast their vote.

Workshop on Health Care Knowledge System Software held at SMIMS REBYNA RANA

GANGTOK, 28 Mar: In order to highlight the use of computer and software techniques and knowledge for rendering better health services, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing [C-DAC], Kolkata organized a workshop on “Health Care Knowledge System” here at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences [SMIMS], Auditorium Hall, today.
This is for the first time that the C-DAC has organized such a workshop here in the state which aims to empower public with health care knowledge. The centre has already organized similar workshops in other states of the North East.
During the workshop, Joint Director cum Scientist, C-DAC, Kolkata, Goutam Kumar Saha, said that the concept maps based health care knowledge system software is available through internet while the software Kiosk has already been installed in major Medical Colleges, Hospitals and Community Health Centres in all the eight North Eastern states including the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Central Referral Hospital and SMIMS, Sikkim, Naga Hospital etc. He also said that, the Health care Knowledge System is also accessible free of cost through the RIMS Imphal website, SMIMS Gangtok etc.
Mr Saha added that the health care knowledge system provides organized healthcare knowledge for quick understanding of disease symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
“In fact, thousands of pages of medical, healthcare information have been transformed into about 350 pages of semantic networks and concept maps showing important health objects and its relationships,” he stated.
Such cognitive engineering software products are very new in India, said Mr Saha further adding that they offer more convenient and easier navigation compared to other complex concept maps. The system makes it easier for people to learn about health care topics, he added.
He further expressed gratitude to the state government for showing keen interest in using the C-DAC’s Health Care Knowledge System in all districts of the state in order to empower the public with healthcare knowledge.
“In fact, this workshop aims to provide awareness related to health care to the people of the North Eastern states and also for promoting Public Health Awareness and Education as well,” stated Mr Saha.
The function was also addressed by the Medical Superintendent, SMU, Dr. Shamsher Singh. Also present were, Vice Chancellor, SMU, Brig. Somnath Mishra, including representatives from the STNM Hospital, NRHM, HoDs/ Doctors, Officials from SMIMS and CRH, including health workers and IT professionals.

Man disrupts SKM public meeting at Burtuk, party accuses SDF of sending him

GANGTOK, 28 Mar: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] has accused the Sikkim Democratic Front [SDF] of trying to disrupt the party’s public meeting at Burtuk today. SDF leaders meanwhile have dismissed the allegations as farfetched and obvious conspiracies to defame the party.
During the public meeting today, a person tried to get on to the stage while the SKM president and Upper Burtuk candidate, PS Tamang [Golay] was addressing the gathering. The man, identified as Bijay Tamang of Swastik near Burtuk, was in an inebriated state and was stopped by party workers before he could get on to the stage.
Following an altercation with SKM workers after his attempt to get on stage was thwarted; the man allegedly went backstage, disconnected the power supply by cutting an electric wire with a plier and fled from the spot. However, he was caught by the party workers and handed over to the police on duty at the spot.
When challenged and roughed up, the man, countered, “What did Golay give us? Chamling at least gave us Rs. 2 lakhs”.
SKM party workers also reportedly recovered Rs. 50,000 in cash from his possession. They remain convinced that the person was sent by the SDF to disturb the SKM meeting. The meeting meanwhile resumed after the brief disruption.
When asked about the incident and the allegation, SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal dismissed the aspersions and said, “SDF has never indulged in such cheap politics of sending someone to disturb a public meeting”.

SDF candidate from Upper Burtuk, DR Thapa also refuted the allegations and denied having any knowledge about why the accused did what he did.

Golay campaigns in Upper Burtuk

GANGTOK, 28 Mar: SKM president and former SDF MLA from Upper Burtuk, PS Tamang [Golay], who is contesting from the constituency again this time as an SKM candidate today sought fresh mandate from the people of the area. Mr. Tamang is also contesting from Namthang-Rateypani.
Addressing a public meeting at Burtuk near the Helipad, Mr. Tamang said that his last term as an MLA was unfruitful because of his differences with the SDF president, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.
“I could not do much for Burtuk after the 2009 election as Mr. Chamling had already made plans to make my works unsuccessful here,” he alleged. Stating that he has always had the support of the people of the area he expressed hope of similar support this election as well.
“I will completely abide by the public mandate and fulfill all public demands giving utmost priority to them,” he assured. Reiterating SKM’s call for change, he said that people are waiting for 12 April to make this happen. 
Urging his party workers to do their best in the remaining 15 days before the state goes to poll, Mr. Tamang contended that this election was a fight to save Sikkim from the SDF regime. He assured better administration and transparent and good governance if SKM was voted to power. He also assured to provide justice to the old business community who have been residing in Sikkim since before 1975.

Mr. Tamang condemned the attempt to disrupt the meeting today and said that such activities will not be tolerated. He demanded that the accused be booked as per law.

SKM complaint to CEO “foolish”: SDF

GANGTOK, 28 Mar: Sikkim Democratic Front [SDF] has termed the complaint submitted by Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] to the Election Department as “a foolish step”.
SKM had written to the Chief Electoral Officer on Thursday demanding that the SDF party’s symbol be changed. SKM Lok Sabha candidate, TN Dhakal had alleged that the SDF president Pawan Chamling violated the code of conduct by allegedly misguiding the public through a statement made at a public meeting in Melli recently. Mr Chamling, he claimed, had said that the electronic voting machine would sound an alert when they voted for SDF.
“The people of Sikkim are aware about the functioning of EVMs,” underlined SDF spokesperson, Bhim Dahal.
Commenting on the allegations made by Mr. Dhakal over what he saw as mistakes in SDF’s Lok Sabha candidate, PD Rai’s nomination papers, the SDF spokesperson said, “He [TN Dhakal] wants to compete alone in the race that’s why he is leveling such futile allegations”.

Convenor of SDF youth wing, GM Gurung said that SKM is a party that wants to destroy Sikkim while SDF wants the development of the people and state.

National Interaction cum Evaluation Workshop of ENVIS Centres begins in Gangtok

GANGTOK, 28 Mar: A three-day National Interaction cum Evaluation Workshop of Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centres began today at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok. The workshop is being organised by Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India in collaboration with Sikkim State Council of Science & Technology.
A press release informs that more than 120 senior participants from various national institutions and various State Government departments are participating in the interaction cum evaluation process for further strengthening of Environmental Information System in the country.
Chief guest of the inaugural function, Chief Secretary AK Srivastava, in his address, stressed on the protection of environment and need to have strong institutional instrument for repository of database and information system which ENVIS Centres can provide. He talked about fragile ecosystems, sustainable development and climate change.
Congratulating the Science & Technology Department for organising such an important event, he said that more study and generation of information is needed to be done by all participating institutes. He also thanked Ministry of Environment & Forests for giving the opportunity to Sikkim State Council of Science & Technology to organise such an important event.
Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, SK Shilal delivered the welcome address while Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India, B Brahma who was the guest of honour, talked at length about the mandate, funding and activities of ENVIS Centres. He also stressed on efficient management of generated information data.
Deputy Economic Advisor, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. Of India, Abhay Kumar made a brief presentation about the ENVIS scheme. Other dignitaries present during the inaugural function were Arvind Kumar [Principal Secretary-cum PCCF, Forests, Environmrent and Wildlife Development Department], MG Kiran [Principal Secretary, Home Department] and Evaluation experts from different central universities and institutions, the release mentions.
During the inaugural function, the Chief Secretary also released various publications by WWF, India.  
The workshop will conclude on 30 March after presentation and evaluation of all 68 ENVIS centres.

Solid Waste Management awareness via quizzing at Arithang and Burtuk schools

GANGTOK, 28 Mar: Continuing the series of engagement to create awareness about Solid Waste Management amongst school students of Junior High Schools within the jurisdiction of the Gangtok Municipal Corporation, the Engage Quiz was held at BP Rai Junior High School at Arithang and North Point School at Burtuk on Wednesday. Engage Quiz is the first of the three interventions of Engage 14.
A press release informs that more than 300 students of the two schools participated in the quiz competition and also took home the message of reduce, reuse and recycle. The Engage Quiz intervention also highlighted the importance of reducing waste from households, intelligently reusing household items and not throwing it just after one use. The program also highlighted the aspect of not burning waste and more importantly not burning electronic waste as it could be hazardous to our health as well as the environment.

The students and the teachers of the school appreciated the efforts of the Gangtok Municipal Corporation in bringing awareness and such events to the junior high schools, the release mentions. 

Spell Out Plans


The scrutiny process has completed and elections are barely two weeks away now. By Saturday evening, even the time allotted to withdraw from the fray would have lapsed and everyone left in the list would be a candidate. Despite the countdown now very real and short, save perhaps the candidates in the fray, political excitement is surprisingly subdued in the State this time. There was much more activity and ‘action’ some months ago compared to what appears to be almost forced engagement at present. One hopes that the calm is a sign of some sobriety having tempered politics, and prays that the lull is not the calm before a storm. One needs to also accept here that the candidates and their parties seem to be abiding by the model code of conduct guidelines much more responsibly this time than in the past. The disturbing aggression of the pre-MCC days is welcomingly missing from the streets and even the battle for the flags seems to have toned down. The electorate must be reveling this tranquility because it allows them the chance to consider the options on offer in peace and attend meetings and receive candidates without worrying too much about ‘repercussions’. This fortnight is a period when the voter rules, can set the rules and be forthright in laying conditions and demanding explanations. However, just because they can do all this does not mean that they are actually setting the agenda for the campaign. But they should. They should demand that the two main leaders clearly outline their plans for Sikkim for the next five years and the candidates to spell out time-bound commitments for their respective constituencies. Unfortunately, this message is clearly not being conveyed strongly enough because despite barely 15 days left for the people to vote, there is only one election manifesto in the public domain. Policy commitments and plans and priorities for the next five years need to be spelled out and conveyed to the people, this is as necessary for ‘local’ political parties to do as for national and regional outfits [who should explain how they plan to adjust national and regional stands to local situations]. Not enough are doing so…

Returning Officer convenes meeting with parties and observers for East dist

GANGTOK, 28 Mar [IPR]: A meeting of all the political parties with the observers chaired by the Returning Officer, East, AK Singh was held today at the Conference Hall of the District Administrative Center, Sichey, East Sikkim. The meeting had the presence of four observers namely BB Swain, Tshering Angchok, G Ashok and JB Singh.
At the outset, the District Election Officer cum Returning Officer, East while welcoming the representatives from the political parties and the candidates read out the names of validly nominated candidates of Assembly Constituencies of East, Sikkim Parliamentary Constituency and Sangha.
While informing the political parties and the candidates about the various measures taken to ensure free and fair election the Returning Officer, East and the Superintendent of Police East explained in detail about the Model Code of Conduct to be followed by the contesting candidates and the political parties.
The District Election Officer, East said that the entire election procedure is being undertaken in a most transparent manner further adding that the political parties and the candidates will be informed about any activity related to election being undertaken at the Strong Room which has been arranged at Tashi Namgyal Academy auditorium.
He also informed that the Booth Level Officers will be available at the polling stations on 30 March to facilitate the issue of voter slips to the voters which will ensure smooth polling during the polling day. In this regard, he also sought help from the political parties and the candidates to mobilize the voters to get their voter slips in time so as to avoid confusion during the polling day.
He categorically informed that the political parties or the candidates will not be allowed to set up their booth within the 200-meter periphery of the polling booth to facilitate the voters during the polling day. In case of any enquiry, the Returning Officer, East ensured that the District Election Office is always ready for any assistance.

BJP begins election campaign from Khamdong-Singtam

GANGTOK, 28 Mar: The Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] began its election campaign from Khamdong-Singtam constituency today. The party’s candidate from the constituency, Madan Kr Sharma started his campaign with the BJP slogan “ghar-ghar Modi, dar-dar Modi, BJP ko vote do, SDF aur SKM ko chhor do”.
He called for the need to bring BJP to power both at the centre and state for a better future for both Sikkim and the nation.

The BJP is contesting the Lok Sabha elections and has fielded 14 candidates for the Assembly elections.

Friday, March 28, 2014

10 nominations filed in South

NAMCHI, 26 Mar [IPR]: The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] president, PS Tamang [Golay] today filed his nomination papers here at the Returning Officer’s Office in South District.
Mr. Tamang filed his nominations for Namthang-Rateypani along with 7 other fellow candidates for a total number of 8 Assembly Constituencies in the South District. The day also saw Trinamool Congress (TMC) filing nomination papers for the Assembly elections.
The names of the SKM candidates who filed their nominations today are Pema Wangyal Bhutia [Barfung], Bhoj Raj Rai [Poklok Kamrang], Milan Rai [Namchi Singhithang], Prem Karki [Melli], Lalit Sharma [Temi Namphing], Bikash Basnet [Rangang Yangang], Nedup Tshering Lepcha [Tumin Lingee] and SKM president, PS Tamang [Namthang Rateypani].
The TMC candidates who filed their nominations today are Yasodha Bara Koti [Namthang Rateypani] and Prem Tshering Lepcha [Tumin Lingee].
On Thursday i.e.27 March scrutiny of the nomination papers will be done.

Two withdraw after all clear scrutiny up North

MANGAN, 27 Mar: Two candidates have withdrawn their nominations in North district after the scrutiny process was held in the presence of General Election Observer, Tshering Angchok and DC North, TN Kazi at the DC Office Mangan today.
Topden Bhutia, who had filed his nomination papers as an Independent candidate from Kabi-Lungtsok and Hishey Lachungpa, who had filed nominations as an SKM candidate from Lachen-Mangan, withdrew their nominations. Mr. Lachungpa had filed his nomination papers along with Sandup Lepcha, the official SKM candidate, who is still in the fray.
Following this, the total number of candidates left in the fray for the three whose nominations have been accepted now stands at ten.
Meanwhile, the candidates were informed of the meeting on 30 March at District Administration Centre, North district.
Following the scrutiny, the candidates in North Sikkim are: for Kabi-Lungtsok constituency Thinley Tshering Bhutia [SDF], Ugen Nedup Bhutia [SKM] and Karma Tashi Bhutia [INC]. Dzongu constituency has Sonam Gyatso Lepcha [SDF], Penzong Lepcha [INC], Karma Samten Lepcha [BJP] and Dawa Tshering Lepcha [SKM]. Candidates for Lachen-Mangan constituency are Tshering Wangdi Lepcha [SDF], Topden Lepcha [INC] and Samdup Lepcha [SKM].

All contenders pass scrutiny in South as well

NAMCHI, 27 Mar [IPR]: There were 26 nominations filed in the South District by the different candidates during the nomination period. The scrutiny of the nomination papers submitted by the respective candidates to the Returning Officer (South) was carried out by the RO Prabhaker Verma in his office today.
The RO declared the nominations accepted after finding the paper works correct and complete supported by all the required documents in all aspects. He checked the papers as per the filed nomination date from four political parties namely Sikkim Democratic Front, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, Indian National Congress and Trinamool Congress.
The candidates of the respective constituencies were present with their legal counsels and election agents for the scrutiny process in the office of the RO. General Observer for South District, Dr R Selvaraj was present in the office of the RO to observe the scrutiny process.
Today the candidate and the agents received their Identity Cards making them official candidates for the General Assembly Elections 2014. After the scrutiny process, the specimen signature of the candidates was registered in the nomination office to be sent to the Polling Stations for the purpose of verification of their signature by the Presiding Officer in the letters of appointment of the Polling agents at the time of the Poll. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is 29 March 2014 up to 3pm.
SDF president Pawan Chamling and SKM president PS Tamang were represented by their agents in their absence during the scrutiny process today.
RO Mr Verma has informed that a meeting with all political parties and candidates with the District Officials and the General Observer will be held on 29 March 2014 at the conference hall of DAC for which the parties and candidates have been notified as well.
Each constituency is divided into two sectors which means there are 16 sectors for all 8 constituencies.

All 32 nominations accepted in West

GYALSHING, 27 Mar [IPR]: All nominations filed in the West District for the coming election have been accepted. 
The scrutiny of the candidates who filed nominations for the West District for the General Elections 2014 was held in the office of the Returning Officer (West), DAC, Gyalshing today.
As per the information by the RO, 32 candidates from different parties filed nominations for 8 constituencies in the West District. Sikkim Democratic Front [SDF], Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] and Congress [INC] filed nominations for all the constituencies followed by six nominations filed by Bharatiya Janta Party [BJP] and two by Trinamool Congress [TMC].

General Observer interacts with political parties in West district

GYALSHING, 27 Mar [IPR]: The General Observer, Anwaruddin Chaudhary, called a meeting with the members of the political parties at the DAC conference hall here today.
The members of the political parties assembled and put forward their issues and grievances. They suggested some points which they felt would make the election process smooth.
According to the candidates, the procedures for obtaining loudspeakers, venue and vehicle permissions are tedious and time-consuming; thus they suggested that they would benefit a lot if it could be simplified.
Campaigning time should be shortened from 10 pm to 4 pm so that there is no inconvenience to the general public. They also informed the General Observer that government employees are also involved in campaigning which violates the norms of the code of conduct.
The General Observer assured them that all the points put forward will be looked into. He also appealed to the leaders of the parties that any person who violates the code of conduct should be reported to the Returning Officer with evidence.

In conclusion, he assured them that justice will be provided to all and added that he is always available in office for the general public to address any grievances or suggestions related to the election.

VoterSpeak...what the Sikkim voter wants from next government.

“Service extension of government servants should stop since it is creating more unemployment problems in the state. The younger generation should get the chance to get government jobs.”

PINTSO DOMA BHUTIA, 30, Phodong, North Sikkim

TB awareness prog held at Rangpo JHS

GANGTOK, 27 Mar: More than 300 students of Rangpo Junior High School including Head Master, Kailash Thapa and teachers participated in an awareness programme on TB conducted by the NGO, CARE today.
A press release informs that Project Coordinator, CARE, Milan Rai delivered the welcome address and informed about the day’s program. He informed about the importance of completing TB treatment and support from families of TB patients.
CARE representative, Nitin Chettri, emphasised on the correct diagnosis and treatment of TB. He further addressed the various misconceptions regarding TB in the community and also answered queries put up by the children of the school.

The concluding address was given by Milan Rai who said that the mission of fighting TB can only be possible with the participation of the people at the community level, the release adds.  

SKM complains to CEO against Chamling

GANGTOK, 27 Mar: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] party has filed a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer against the Sikkim Democratic Front party president, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, alleging violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
SKM has alleged that while addressing a public meeting at Melli recently, Mr Chamling urged voters to vote for the ‘umbrella’ which is the SDF party’s symbol and allegedly also said that the electronic voting machine will sound an alert when they do so. It is alleged that Mr Chamling also said that the EVM would not sound any such alert if people voted for other parties.
The SKM party has also submitted a CD containing this speech along with the complaint for necessary action.

SKM spokesperson, MN Dahal stated today that the party has full faith in the Election Department and the CEO. “Whatever complaints we have raised till now the department has taken seriously and addressed them accordingly,” he said. 

Governor donates magazines for 24 Hours Inspired initiative

GANGTOK, 27 Mar: A four-member delegation of 24 Hours Inspired, a group of social entrepreneurs led by Diwaker Basnet called on the Governor of Sikkim, Shriniwas Patil at Raj Bhawan on 27 March 2014.
A press release informs that the Governor greeted the members of the NGO and lauded their effort in inculcating competitive spirit among students, building knowledge and awareness among students about the opportunities the modern world has to offer and their roles through various interventions.
The members apprised the Governor about various programmes being undertaken by their group in the field of academics, career counselling and leadership development for the benefit of students and youth in general.
Interacting with the members of the group, Governor commended the initiative recently launched by them to collect magazines on news and current affairs from the prospective donors and agencies and providing the same to schools in the remote and rural parts of the state where students do not have the opportunity and facility to read such materials.

On the occasion, the Governor also handed over 127 copies of the magazines on news and current affairs to them and assured them all possible help in their initiatives, the release informs.

Quality Assurance Committee to ensure quality sterilization facilities in state

GANGTOK, 27 Mar: To ensure proper standards and procedures for female and male sterilization the Health Department has constituted a Quality Assurance Committee at the state level. This is as per the Supreme Court of India order directing it to adhere to standards laid down by the government of India. This is in respect of sterilization including pre-operative measures, operational facilities and post-operative follow ups. This Committee is headed by the Director General cum Secretary, Health Department.
All public and private facilities providing family planning services in the state are to be visited and monitored to ensure implementation of national standards. In the process all deaths and complications following sterilization are to be reviewed and reported. Conception due to failure of sterilization is also to be reported. National family planning insurance schemes and payment of compensation are also to be reviewed for adherence to standards.
Similarly and in pursuance of the apex court directives the department has also constituted the State Family Planning Indemnity sub-committee from within the State Quality Assurance Committee. This is primarily to redress, dispose and disburse claims and complaints received through the Committee as per procedures laid down.
The chairperson of this committee is the Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission. In the same fashion District Level Quality Assurance Committees at the district levels have been constituted to ensure that the standards of male and female sterilization are followed in all processes and procedures. At the district level the District Collectors of the respective districts have been made the chairpersons of the committees.
A medical audit of all sterilization related deaths will be done by this committee along with reporting of the same. All data relating to complications and hospitalizations arising out of sterilization or sterilization failure are to be collated and reported as well.
These cases are then to be processed for payment of compensation and to be followed up with the insurance companies. At the same time all state and government accredited institutions and NGOs providing sterilization services are to be reviewed for quality care and remedial action to be recommended for those institutions not adhering to the guidelines.

General Observer convenes meeting with North District Election Management team

MANGAN, 27 Mar: After presiding over the scrutiny of nomination papers of North district candidates, General Observer, Tshering Angchok had a meeting with the officials deployed for the general election 2014 here at the control room, DAC, Pentok, today.  The Returning Officer North, TN Kazi, while delivering the welcome address underlined about the preparedness measures taken for the upcoming poll.
ARO, R K Yadav apprised him about election management of the district through power point presentation, wherein he informed that there has been no reports of violation of the model code of conduct. The election team has conducted 23 of the 24 SVEEP programmes to be conducted and have been disseminating latest election updates to the public through SMS service, social networking sites and press notes.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Angchok complimented the efforts of the district election management team and hoped that the management would be able to conduct free and fair polls in the district.
"All officers have a vital role to play in the conduct of free and fair elections, therefore each and every ARO and sector magistrate should be very careful in their duties and should work in close coordination with the police department" said Mr. Angchok. Meanwhile, he has also urged every election management team to be pro active vis-à-vis their duty.

Why the Young Matter


89,218 of Sikkim’s 3.62 lakh voters, making up nearly 25% of the electorate, are aged between 18 to 25 years. Of these, 13,505 electors have entered the voter list for the first time, all aged between 18 to 19 years at present. Since this is also the segment most likely to be most excited about the election process despite the rather dull goings this time around, they become a much feted section. And they should be, because despite the clich√©, they really are going to reap what the next five years so. Sikkim’s voters have always voted in strength with nearly 84% turning up to vote in 2009. The turnout in the 18-25 age-group can be expected to be even higher since this is the first election for many of them and they will want to have a say in things. That said, one needs to also accept that a majority of the voters are in the 25-40 age-group who make up 40.93% of the electorate at 1,48,289. But they lose significance as a single group because at their age, they get segmented into caste and community lines and other such divisions and don’t express or work as one unit. In the 18-25 group, however, the pigeonholing is hopefully not yet completed and they can be expected to respond to issues as a collective instead of dispirited segments of society that older generations tend to become. Manifestos which catch their fancy and leaders who can inspire them with the right dose of challenge and opportunity for the next term thus stand a good chance of cornering their endorsement. Since the young are driven more by ideology and passion than malice and revenge, it would be ill-advised to try and sway them by painting targets on other people’s backs. What will work more effectively with this group will be appeals to their sense of propriety and their still instinctive preference for righteousness and equality. Sops will not work with them, but challenged could. They will prefer opportunities to hand-outs and sacrifice to lethargy. Those who think that this youth can be swayed with empty rhetoric and opportunistic teasing of their emotions are obviously reading the young wrong…

Five Assembly nominations fail in East, one withdrawn SKM’S TN DHAKAL ALLEGES ERRORS IN PD RAI’S NOMINATION PAPER

GANGTOK, 27 Mar: Five nomination papers filed for Assembly Elections in the East district were rejected during scrutiny by the Returning Officer, East today. Also today, SKM’s Lok Sabha candidate, TN Dhakal, protested against what he is convinced is an incomplete nomination paper submission by the SDF candidate PD Rai. Mr. Dhakal reportedly demanded that Mr. Rai’s nomination paper be rejected, but this was turned down by the Returning Officer.
Meanwhile, a dummy candidate of the Indian National Congress, Renuka Gurung, from Upper Burtuk withdrew her papers after the official candidate, Santabir Tamang passed the scrutiny.
Amongst the nominations rejected are three candidates of the Aam Aadmi Party [AAP], two of Trinamool Congress and one Congress candidate.
Roman Shilal, the  AAP candidate fielded from Upper Burtuk will not be contesting the coming election. Similarly, two Upper Tadong candidates, Nima Thendup Lama of TMC and Prashant Lamichaney of AAP also had their nominations rejected. Khamdong Singtam candidate, Indra Kala Neopaney of TMC and Namcheybong’s Sulochana Rai [AAP] have also been rejected.
As for SKM’s objection during scrutiny, addressing a press conference later in the day, Mr. Dhakal argued that Mr. Rai, in his affidavit on assets declaration, had left two columns blank. In the affidavit in question, Mr. Rai, after attesting that it was he who was submitting the form, has not written down his name in the box marked ‘self’ and not written down his spouse’s name in the box marked ‘spouse’. He has however provided the details asked for against ‘self’ and ‘spouse’.
Mr. Dhakal’s objections were turned down by the Returning Officer even as the SKM’s Lok Sabha contender remains insistent that this should have attracted rejection.
At the press conference, Mr. Dhakal informed that SKM was ready to file an Election Petition in court on the issue.

CS visits Kabi, meets election officials

MANGAN, 27 Mar: Chief Secretary AK Srivastava visited Kabi-Lungtsok constituency of North Sikkim to take stock of election preparedness in the district today. He interacted with AERO, SDM Kabi, sector magistrates, all surveillance teams, Police and other officers and briefed them on the coming election. The CS also inspected few of the polling booths and directed the AERO to make the necessary arrangements for conducting free and fair elections with 100 percent voter turn-out in the district. 

Congress’ Sangha candidate interacts with monks

GANGTOK, 27 Mar: The Indian National Congress’ Sangha candidate, Acharya Tshering Lama interacted with the members of the electoral college of the Sangha seat today at the party’s headquarters here. Around 60 monks from different monasteries were present and assured their support for Acharya Tshering Lama, informs a Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee press release.
After the completion of the scrutiny process today, SPCC has officially begun its election campaign, the release mentions.

Party president, Dr. AD Subba has welcomed the support from monks, it is added.

Two trainings on use of improved farm equipment held

GANGTOK, 27 Mar: Two training programmes on “Operation & On-farm Maintenance of Power Tiller with Matching Implements and other Improved Farm Equipment Suitable for Cultivation on Terraces in Sikkim” were held in East Sikkim recently. The training was organized by CAEPHT (CAU) centre of AICRP-FIM, College of Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology (CAU), Ranipool.
A press release informs that at Kadamtam near Assam Lingzey, the training was held from 19-21 March and at Chengzey near Rumtek, the training was held from 24-26 March.
In the training programme organized at Kamdatam, 22 progressive farmers of three Krishi Samridhi Groups (KSGs) participated. In the training organized at Chengzey, 15 farmers of two different KSGs participated.
In pre-training feedback at both the villages, the participants showed their keenness to know more about operation and on-farm maintenance of light weight power tiller and other improved farm equipment suitable for terraces of Sikkim for timely completion of field operations at reduced drudgery, the release informs.
Principal Investigator of the project, CAEPHT, Dr. NS Chauhan, while addressing the participants briefed the activities of the project and various programmes in operation at the College for the benefit of the farmers.
The salient features of the training programmes include skilled operation and on-farm adjustments and preventive maintenances about light weight power tiller, bush cutter and other improved hand tools and equipment suitable for hill agriculture and group discussion/interaction as per the need of the farmers.
Both the trainings concluded with the post-training feedback from the farmers so that further specialized trainings on the specific topics as per the needs of the farmers may be organized in the farmer’s field at appropriate time. The groups expressed their willingness to undertake practical demonstrations and expressed their desire to meet the adopted farmers of the college for one-on-one discussion and interaction.
The training was coordinated by Associate Professor, Dr. N.S. Chauhan, along with staffs of AICRP-FIM, Department of Farm Power and Machinery, CAEPHT, Ranipool.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


NAMCHI, 26 Mar: After taking a day’s rest on Tuesday, Sikkim Democratic Front party president, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling resumed his election campaign tour of South Sikkim today with a well-attended public meeting at Temi bazaar for the Temi-Namphing constituency.
While addressing the gathering, Mr. Chamling announced that in the next term, he would also work on preparing educated party youth to succeed him and lead the party and the State in the future.
“I will now groom my replacement,” he said.
In this regard, he appealed to the educated youth and women to take a more active part in politics.
Stating that SDF was a pro-youth party, the Chief Minister said that during the 20 years of SDF government, youth have been empowered, inspired and groomed and never misguided.
He stressed that the party and its government have devoted time, policies and funds towards empowering and grooming the youth. The focus has consistently been to make the youth self-reliant and infused with self-respect.
A major portion of such aims now complete, “I want to hand over the future of Sikkim to them”, he stated, reiterating that the next generation of the party’s and the State’s leadership will be groomed now.
He also highlighted the salient features of the party manifesto in his address and underlined that the upcoming election was as much about endorsing the development secured for Sikkim in the past two decades by the SDF Government as it was about giving continuity to the process and ensuring quality completion to works still in progress.
About the Opposition in the State, he alleged that there were factions in the opposition which believed in violence more than policies and plans.
Also in his address today, he appealed to the business community of the state to contribute in the politics of Sikkim and participate proactively in it. He said that during the SDF regime, the business community of the state has been provided with a lot of opportunities along with peace and security. Business has bloomed in Sikkim under the SDF government and the business community has never been threatened, he said further adding that the party has never asked them to shut down their shops or asked for donations or intimidated them in any way. Such oppression was commonplace in pre-SDF Sikkim, he reminded.
To meet the demands of the business community, a business community welfare board will be set up in the next government, he added. He urged the community to support the party for its programmes and policies.
The next SDF government will focus on providing Scheduled Tribe status to all the communities of Sikkim he said further reiterating his commitment to providing reservation for Limboos and Tamangs in the state assembly in his next government. “I will utilize my experience of 20 years for the welfare of Sikkimese people,” he added.
He appealed to the people to vote for SDF after considering the works it has done in the state in the past 20 years.
Alleging that opposition parties are only misleading the people of Sikkim, Mr Chamling said that these parties do not have any policies or programmes and hence are leveling baseless allegations on SDF.
The CM also assured that Temi Tarku will be developed into a prominent tourism destination to boost tourism sector of the state in the fifth term of the SDF government.
Lok Sabha candidate of the party, PD Rai in his address assured to take up the pending demands of the Sikkimese people at the centre. While party candidate for the constituency, GM Gurung assured to complete all the pending development works of the constituency in the next SDF government.

32 candidates file nominations for 8 constituencies of West district

GYALSHING, 26 Mar [IPR]: West District saw nominations of 17 candidates from different parties filing their nominations for General Elections 2014 at the office of the Returning Officer, West on the last day for filing nominations today. With this, 32 candidates in total have filed their nominations from the district.
All eight SKM candidates from the district filed their nominations today followed by six BJP candidates. Congress filed 2 nominations while TMC had a lone candidate file nominations today. 

voterSpeak..what the Sikkim Voter wants from nest Government.

“The government should focus more on village tourism especially in rural areas as there are numerous tourist spots in villages. The basic necessity in Sikkim is proper maintenance of roads and the state government should monitor this strictly. Dedicated and qualified teachers should be sent to schools in villages. Forest department should sensitize people on afforestation and should undertake more protective work”.

NESH LALL GURUNG, 29, NGO member, Lower Rakdong

Ugen Gyatso continues Tumin-Lingee campaign

DIKCHU, 26 Mar: The Sikkim Democratic Front’s election campaign in Tumin-Lingee constituency reached Samdong-Kambal GPU today with the SDF candidate, sitting MLA Ugen T Gyatso Bhutia, meeting and interacting with the people accompanied by former MLA Norzang Lepcha, zilla member Saraswati Regmi and other supporters.
Delivering the welcome speech, Panhayat Secretary, ward panchayat Sabitri Chettri highlighted the various developmental initiatives like upgradation of school and drinking water supply undertaken by the SDF government and the area MLA in the area. 
The Zilla Panchayat, Ms. Regmi, similarly highlighted the public demands which were fulfilled by the area MLA in the past 5 years and after detailing these, reiterated that the people recognize and endorse the MLA’s work among them by returning him to the legislative assembly for another term representing them and also by voting for the SDF’s Lok Sabha candidate in strong numbers.
Addressing the gathering, the candidate appealed to the youth to unite for development and urged all to make informed choices during the election. He highlighted that SDF has provided peace and development in the state and is led by the proven pro-poor credential of Pawan Chamling.

He contended that Tumin-Lingee has received more development than other constituencies of the State and will continue enjoying such indulgence under the SDF. “We will continue in government and will continue the development,” he added. 

126 candidates file nominations for 32 Assembly seats LONE LOK SABHA SEAT ATTRACTS 6 CONTENDERS

GANGTOK, 26 Mar: The process of filing of nomination papers concluded today across the State and as things stand, a total of 132 candidates have filed nominations for the 32 Assembly seats and the lone Lok Sabha seat going to polls in Sikkim. This number could come down with scrutiny scheduled for Thursday, 26 March, and candidates being able to withdrawn nomination papers till 29 March, Saturday.
The lone Lok Sabha seat has received six candidates with SDF, SKM, Congress, BJP, TMC and AAP fielding candidates.
The 12 Assembly constituencies of East Sikkim have attracted seven independent candidates. Amongst the independents, 3 are from Rhenock, 3 from Arithang and 1 from Gnathang-Machong.
The three constituencies of North district have 12 candidates at present - 3 SDF, 4 SKM, 3 Congress, 1 BJP and 1 Independent candidate.
In West district, 32 candidates in all have filed their nominations for the eight assembly constituencies. 8 SDF candidates, 8 SKM, 8 Congress, 6 BJP and 2 TMC candidates have filed their nominations in the district.
The South district saw 26 candidates in all filing their nomination for the 8 constituencies. 8 from SDF, 8 from Congress, 8 from SKM and 2 from TMC.
In 2009, there were 167 contestants in the 32 Assembly constituencies. Of the 167, 106 contestants had forfeited their deposits because of the extremely low number of votes they received.
Polling on 12 April will be held at 538 polling stations spread across 389 polling station locations.
More than half the State’s population is made up of voters. Sikkim, as per Census 2011, has a population of 6,31,498. The number of voters is 3,62,326 electors [as on 3rd January 2014]. Of these, 89,218 voters making up 24.62% of the electorate are in the age-group 18–25 while women constitute 48.45%.
A bulk of the voters are in the 25-40 age-group. This segment constitutes 41% of the electorate at their strength of 1,48,289 voters.
The next age bracket of 40 to 60 year olds has 93,104 voters, making up 25.70% of the electorate. Only 8.17% [31,715] of the electorate is over-60.
The polling, if voters remain true to their track-record, can be expected to be high. The State recorded around 82% voter turnout the last time around in 2009.
In Elections 2009, SDF had secured 67.52% of the votes with Congress coming a distant second with a 28.31% vote-share. SHRP, which has since merged with the Congress, had cornered a 3.54% vote-share .

Two convicts complete training as Paralegal Volunteers REBYNA RANA

GANGTOK, 26 Mar: Chief Justice, High Court of Sikkim & Patron-in-chief, Sikkim SLSA, Justice Narendra Kumar Jain, accompanied by Justice SP Wangdi [Judge, High Court of Sikkim & Executive Chairman, Sikkim SLSA] handed over certificates to two convicts trained as Para Legal Volunteers [PLVs] here at the State Central Prison, Rongyek, today.
The two convicts - Kul Chandra Baral and Deepok Pradhan - have successfully completed the two-day “Para Legal Training” organized by the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority which was held from 28 February to 01 March.
Addressing the function, Justice Jain, who was present as the chief guest, said that under the Para Legal Volunteers Scheme, the National Legal Services Authority directed the State Authority to impart legal training to volunteers selected from different walks of life so as to ensure legal aid reaches all sections of people.
“PLVs are not only expected to impart awareness on laws and legal system but they must also counsel and amicably settle simple disputes between the parties at the source itself. In fact, more legal aid is required in jails,” he highlighted.
Stressing on the objectives of SLSA, Justice Jain said that the social objective is to make the public at large aware about legal aids available.
“The two convicts who they have been trained by the panel advocates and volunteers to make all the convicts and under trials aware about their legal rights,” he said and urged them to utilize these experiences in providing justice for them.
Justice Wangdi, in turn, said that the paralegal volunteers are expected to act as intermediaries bridging the gap between the common people and the legal services institutions to remove impediments in access to justice for all.
In fact, the process aims at legal services institutions reaching out to the people at their doorsteps rather than people approaching such legal services authorities.
Congratulating the two trained convicts Justice Wangdi said, “I am sure that after going through this training you will be satisfied with your work as a PLV”. He added that they can better understand and address problems of other inmates and convicts, and in the process also reform themselves.
The function was also addressed by Panel Advocate, Sikkim SLSA, Tashi Rapten Barfungpa, Member Secretary KW Bhutia, and Superintendent of Police, State Central Prison, Rongyek, Hissey Zongpu Bhutia.
The function was also attended by the Office Superintendent SLSA, Praveen Pradhan, Panel Advocates and Volunteers of SLSA, Officers of Jail Authority,

Sikkim Liberation Party gets ECI recognition

GANGTOK, 26 Mar: Sikkim Liberation Party has announced that the party has been recognized by the Election Commission of India as a registered political party.
In a press release, the party has said that it is in the process of developing able leadership and in no hurry to enter the poll fray. The party is working to garner able human resource to create an atmosphere for democracy in the state, it is stated.

The party has further said that none of the political parties fighting this election are serious about resolving important issues pertaining to the development of Sikkim. It has appealed to the people to first create a conducive democratic environment with level playing field for elections.

SKM stands by its allegations against CM

GANGTOK, 26 Mar: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha has refuted allegations of distorting the Sikkim Democratic Front president’s recent statements and maintains that the party has proof of the offensive content of Pawan Chamling’s speeches.
Addressing a press conference today, SKM spokesperson MN Dahal said, “Pawan Chamling  in his speech on 04 March at Jorethang, during the SDF day celebrations leveled various allegations against SKM leader PS Tamang [Golay] where he blamed him of wanting the Darjeeling-Sikkim merger and of bringing people from outside the state”.
He termed these allegations baseless and said that there are no hired people from outside the state in SKM. “It is very sad that that such a seasoned leader like Chamling is leveling dirty allegations and giving hate speeches. There are political differences between leaders of opposition political parties during elections but there are certain limits and it does not suit the Chief Minister to make such base allegations,” he said, and added that if the SDF has any proof regarding the allegations then they should prove it otherwise it should stop giving such speeches to mislead the people of Sikkim. It is also not good to point fingers at the people of Darjeeling and Kalimpong as they are our neighbours and it can be seen from the past that they have been involved in the politics of Sikkim since the beginning, added Mr Dahal. He further said that the ruling party should back counter-allegations with proof. 

Will address issues not taken up by political parties, assures Arithang’s Independent candidate Rajeney Gurung

GANGTOK, 26 Mar: Independent candidate from Arithang constituency, Rajeney Gurung has assured to address all the issues that political parties have failed to address till now.
Ms Gurung is an entrepreneur who is running multiple businesses in Gangtok ranging from garment shops to tours and travel. Top on her priority list is the provision of safe drinking water supply, proper sanitation and waste management system, library for children and children parks. These, she says, have not figured in the agendas of major political parties in the state.
Expressing hope that people will vote for her based on these issues she further stated that, “A recreation centre for the young and old is the need of the hour. We need these infrastructures to redress the genuine needs of the society”.

She is hopeful that she can deliver and raise these issues in any forum if voted to power. Ms Gurung will be contesting the Arithang seat against SDF’s Udai Lama, SKM’s Shyam Sunder Pradhan, Congress’ Gyalpo Tamang, Md Jamir and Sherap Dorjee Bhutia. 

Former OSD to CM to contest as independent from Rhenock

GANGTOK, 26 Mar: After resigning from the Sikkim Democratic Front, OP Bhandari filed his nomination papers for the upcoming Assembly election as an independent candidate from Rhenock constituency today. Former OSD [Legal] to the Chief Minister, Mr. Bhandari submitted his resignation to the SDF party on 18 March, it is informed.
Addressing a press conference today after filing his nomination, Mr Bhandari claimed that the people of Rhenock constituency wanted him as their candidate but the ruling party has again fielded a candidate against the wishes of the people of the area. “I wanted the party to cancel Bhim Dhungel’s candidature and give me a chance this time but with many excuses the party declined,” he added.
“Even if I am not elected as the MLA I will work for the betterment of the area by filing PILs”, he stated.

Since the party has failed to see him as someone with potential he stated that he will now prove his capability as an independent candidate. Mr Bhandari alleged that the party should not have given tickets to former MLAs and Ministers who are being investigated by the Patra Commission. “The Returning Officers should check if these persons have mentioned this in their affidavits otherwise I will find out myself,” said Mr. Bhandari. 

4 nominations filed on final day in North

MANGAN, 26 Mar: Four candidates filed their nomination papers in North Sikkim for the upcoming Assembly elections today on the final day of doing so.
The candidates are Samdup Lepcha from Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) for Lachen-Mangan constituency, Karma Samten Bhutia from Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) for Dzongu constituency and Topden Bhutia (Independent) from Kabi Lungtsok constituency. Interestingly, Hishey Lachungpa of SKM [not to be confused with former Minister Hissey Lachungpa of SDF who is contesting this time from Gangtok] also filed his nomination papers for Lachen-Mangan constituency today.
As per the guidelines of the Election Commission of India, a party can file more than one nomination as long as the dummy candidates withdraw their nominations by the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers.

They filed their nomination today at District Administrative Centre Mangan where the Returning Officer (RO) North, TN Kazi along with Asst Returning Officer, Raj Yadav received their nomination papers.

Campaigning picks up in Namthang Rateypani

NAMCHI, 26 Mar: After the declaration of PS Tamang [Golay] as the SKM candidate from Namthang-Rateypani constituency, election campaigning is heating up here in the constituency. The SKM president will be contesting against sitting MLA Tilu Gurung.
The SDF youth wing organised a campaign meeting here at Kateng village today. Addressing the meeting, Zilla Panchayat member Birjan Tamang urged the people to vote for SDF and not to get misled in the name of caste and community.
Ranjit Tamang, in turn, said that the leader of the opposition will probably go around seeking out relatives but people should stick to SDF.
SDF also denied any truth in rumours of the party’s youth convener of the constituency, Sanjeet Kharel, having joined SKM on Tuesday. At the meeting, Mr. Kharel himself denied the rumours and stated that he is very much the SDF youth convenor of Namthang Rateypani. He clarified that Mr Tamang had visited him last evening in the course of his election campaigning.
The meeting was also attended by Kumar Tamang, husband of MLA Tilu Gurung.

On the other hand, Mr. Tamang was given a warm welcome by his party supporters here at Namthang last evening when he reached the constituency. SKM supporters welcomed him with loud sloganeering and fireworks. He filed his nomination today at the office of Returning Officer, South and was escorted by a huge number of supporters.

Election Observer visits North District Election control room

MANGAN, 26 Mar: The General Observer Central, Tshering Angchok visited the District election control room at Mangan today to take stock of election preparedness.  During his visit he interacted with the Returning Officer North, TN Kazi and ARO, Raj Yadav where the detailed functioning of the control room was explained by the RO and ARO while SP North, Ram Niwas Yadav informed him about the law and order situation.

The Observer enquired about the number of nominations filed by the candidates and also enquired about issues related to the conduct of free and fair election in the district. He also interacted with the officials on duty at the control room.  The Observer will attend the scrutiny of nomination papers on Thursday i.e 27 March.

Councillors remove Topgay from GMC and mayorship

GANGTOK, 26 Mar: The Gangtok Muncipal Corporation, in a “special meeting” of all councilors chaired by Deputy mayor Shakti Singh yesterday, unanimously passed a resolution removing KN Topgay as Mayor and also disqualifying him as a councilor on grounds of his having defected to another political party. Mr. Topgay, it may be recalled, had recently joined the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha and has already begun campaigning for SKM candidates, it is informed.
A press release issued by Mr. Singh today explains that Mr. Topgay’s removal is on account of the anti-defection clause included last year in the Sikkim Municipalities Act.

Ranipool Councillor Dambar Dahal moved the proposal for Mr. Topgay’s removal and this was seconded by all GMC councilors present at the meeting, the release adds.

East receives 22 nominations on final day

GANGTOK, 26 Mar: Twenty-two candidates filed their nominations in the East district today. East Sikkim has 12 territorial constituencies and the DC here is also the returning officer for the Lok Sabha and Sangha constituencies.
Ten Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] candidates filed their nominations while three Trinamool Congress [SPTMC] candidates also filed their nominations today. Four Aam Aadmi Party [AAP] candidates, one Congress and one Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] candidate also filed nominations today.
The SKM candidates who filed nominations today are Kunga Nima Lepcha [Shyari], Pintso Chopel Lepcha [Gangtok], Hemendra Adhikari [Rhenock], Gopal Baraily [West Pendam], Kharga Bahadur Gurung [Chujachen], Mani Kumar Sharma [Khamdong-Singtam],    Michung Bhutia [Martam-Rumtek], Dilip Rai [Namcheybong], Shyam Pradhan [Arithang] and Sonam Dorjee [Gnathang-Machong].
AAP candidates Prasant Lamichaney [Upper Tadong], Roman Shilal [Upper Burtuk], Sulochana Rai [Namcheybong] and Kaushal Rai [Lok Sabha] also submitted their nomination papers.
SPTMC candidates who filed nominations today are Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha [Gangtok], Indrakala Neopaney [Singtam-Khamdong] and Nawraj Chettri [Rhenock]. BJP’s NG Dorji filed his nomination papers for Gangtok constituency while Congress candidate Dr AD Subba also filed his nomination for the Lok Sabha seat. Two independent candidates, Nima Thendup Lama [Upper Tadong] and Mohal Lal Thatal [West Pendam] also filed nominations today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Golay and 11 more from SKM file nominations with East RO EAST SEES TOTAL OF 19 NOMINATION PAPER SUBMISSIONS

GANGTOK, 25 Mar: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha president PS Tamang [Golay] today filed his nomination papers for Upper Burtuk here at District Administrative Centre at Sichey at around one o’clock this afternoon. Along with him, 11 other SKM candidates also filed their nomination papers today for the forthcoming assembly and parliamentary elections.
SKM Lok Sabha candidate, TN Dhakal, also filed his nomination papers before the Returning Officer, East, AK Singh.
Dismissing rumors of dissidence within the party after it declared the names of candidates, the SKM president said that the party has adopted a democratic process for selecting candidates and will abide by the decision of the Parliamentary Board.
When asked about Chopel Dzongpo Bhutia, an SKM ticket aspirant from Gnathang-Machong, leaving the party and joining Sikkim Democratic Front, Mr Tamang stated that he has not been informed of Mr Bhutia’s departure from his party. “I have nothing to say to those who are not interested to be part of the struggle for change and are only running after party tickets,” he said.
After filing his nomination, he was received by the people of Upper Burtuk outside the Returning Officer’s office. He then held a public meeting at the Barpipal area of Sichey where he addressed the people of Upper Burtuk.
Mr Tamang will file his nomination papers for Namthang-Rateypani on Wednesday at Namchi, it is informed.

VoterSpeak.. What Sikkim Voter wants from next government.

“Should create general awareness among the people about the problem of urinating out in the open. Awareness should be held especially for the tourists and drivers along with the involvement of the students and the general public as well. Urinals should be constructed in important places of all the districts for the tourists and the general public and not only at tourist spots”.

Chungchung Tongden, 42, social activist, Dikchu

SDF’s Upper Burtuk candidate meets public at Lower Sichey

GANGTOK, 25 Mar: SDF candidate for Upper Burtuk, DR Thapa, has been continuously addressing public meetings and rallies in his constituency. Today he met the public and also addressed a meeting at Lower Sichey urging the people to vote for SDF party in the ensuing assembly election.

He urged people to call on him regarding any grievances. Mr. Thapa is the first ‘son of the soil’ candidate that the constituency has got in the last 40 years. He also assured to address all grievances if voted to power in this assembly election.

SNPP appeals voters to be politically conscious, points out NOTA option

GANGTOK, 25 Mar: The Sikkim Nationalist People’s Party, which had already announced its decision not to contest the 2014 elections, today called on the people to become more politically conscious and reminded them that this time, the Electronic Voting Machines will also include the NOTA option.
Some days back, SNPP had explained that it was staying away disturbed by the quality of political contest in Sikkim this time. Addressing a press conference today, SNPP president Biraj Adhikari added that the reason why the party was not contesting the elections was because the issues and problems being faced by the Sikkimese are neither being brought forward nor being addressed.

Speaking on the issue of elections, Mr Adhikari stated that SNPP would not be taking any sides and will not be supporting any political party in the coming elections. The people need to be politically conscious as this election is a historic one since this time there is the ‘None of the above’ or ‘NOTA’ option for voters as well.

SKM claims more supporters

GANGTOK, 25 Mar: Groups continue to find new allies with less than 3 weeks remaining for the state to go to poll. In one such instance, a group from Kabi-Lungtsok in North Sikkim joined the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha today. According to an SKM press release, the panchayat of Tingmo Gai Khana ward, Chay Lhamu Sherpa, joined the SKM along with her 200 supporters.
The release informs that they formally joined the party by offering khadas to the SKM candidate, Ugen Nedup Bhutia. In her address, Ms Sherpa stated that she has joined SKM in order to protect the natural resources of the state.

The release further informs that panchayat of Changey block under Dzongu, Sonam Thendup Tamang also joined SKM with his 150 supporters on Monday. It is further informed that 22 houses of Soreong and Timberbong under Soreong-Chakung constituency have also joined the party. 

SKM defends decisions to field only one woman and shifting Golay to Namthang-Rateypani

GANGTOK, 25 Mar: The party has clearly received a lot of flak for its decision to field only one woman candidate which is why perhaps for the second straight day today, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha addressed the issue and contended that its lone woman candidate was equivalent to Sikkim Democratic Front’s three women candidates [all sitting MLAs].
An SKM press conference today pointed out that the party has been led by a woman since its inception. Bharati Sharma, who will be contesting from Soreng-Chakung in West Sikkim on an SKM ticket, it may be recalled, is also the party’s working president, a post she was appointed to on 04 Feb 2013 when the party was launched.
Addressing a press conference today, the women’s front organizing secretary of the party, Pabitra Bhandari, said that one woman was enough to raise the voice of lakhs of women of Sikkim. It is a historic feat achieved by the SKM party to have a woman leading the party from its beginning, she added.
“We have not seen a single woman in the ruling party in a decision-making body within the party,” said Ms. Bhandari, adding that it was the decision of the women in the party not to contest the election this time.
Nari Morcha chief convenor, Mingma Lhamu went on to allege that during its 20-year rule, the SDF has used women only to defend Chamling.
Meanwhile, SKM candidate for Rangang-Yangang constituency, Bikash Basnett who is up against the SDF president Pawan Chamling, said that he was ready to take on the CM, 40 years his senior, and questioned the lack of second generation leaders in SDF.
SKM spokesperson, MN Dahal said that Bikash Basnett’s age that the ruling party is mocking is in fact an advantage since he is 40 years more advanced in terms of farsightedness, capability and energy.

Mr Dahal defended the change in the party president PS Tamang’s [Golay] candidature from Soreng-Chakung to Namthang-Rateypani by stating that unlike SDF, it was a collective decision of the party and not a single man’s decision.