74 per cent voter turnout in Sikkim

Gangtok: An estimated 74 per cent of the voters in Sikkim have exercised their franchise on Thursday to elect members of the state Legislative Assembly as well as the lone Lok Sabha MP from the state, an official said.

A total of 4,32,306 voters comprising 2,20,305 males and 2,12,001 females were eligible to exercise their franchise on Thursday. Sikkim has a 32-member Assembly.

The polling percentage will go up as large number of voters who have queued up at polling stations till 5 pm would be allowed to vote, the CEO said.

There was no report of any violence from anywhere in the state during the polling of the state Assembly and the lone Lok Sabha seat which was held simultaneously, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ravindra Telang told PTI.

Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling exercised his franchise at Namchi New Secondary School in South Sikkim’s Namchi-Singhiyhang assembly seat.

A total of 150 candidates are in fray for the 32 Assembly seats, while 11 candidates are contesting for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state.

Polling was held in 567 polling stations spread across four districts in Sikkim. As many as 39 of 567 polling stations were manned by all-women personnel.

Chamling, who is seeking an eighth successive term as an MLA, is contesting from two assembly seats – Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi-Singhithang.

Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, the working president of the Hamro Sikkim party (HSP) has entered into fray from two assembly seats as well, including the Gangtok assembly constituency, reserved for the indigenous Bhutia-Lepcha communities.