Monday, May 26, 2014

Sliding Fortunes

The story in Sikkim seems largely in line with that in Odisha. The Sikkim Democratic Front of Pawan Kumar Chamling, which has ruled the state for the last four terms, is set to start a record fifth term in office. However, his grip on the state is strongly under challenge with his former lieutenant Prem Tamang's one-year old party, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), picking up 10 seats in the 32 seat Assembly in this small Himalayan state.

In the last Assembly, the SDF controlled all seats, with the Congress losing its seats and the BJP being unable to consolidate its votes in Southern Sikkim. In fact, in 2014, this state saw an unusual BJP-Congress-CPI(M) alliance to unseat the SDF, which failed spectacularly. However, with the split in the SDF and the strong performance of the SKM, Chamling will have to watch his back.

Sikkim politics is still very local and largely untouched by national politics. However, that does not make it any less interesting!  

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