SKM questions conduct of free and fair elections in Sikkim

Casts doubt over hike in number of postal ballots this election

Gangtok, 23 Apr:

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha today expressed its dissatisfaction over the conduct of the 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Sikkim. The party has also questioned the lack of action by the Election Commission over various complaints submitted by the party till now.

In a press conference held today, SKM spokesperson, Jacob Khaling said that various complaints regarding the conduct of elections and violations of the Model Code of Conduct have been submitted to the Election Commission but no action has been taken so far. This, he said, can be detrimental to the faith people have in the institution and in democracy.

Amongst the various complaints, he mentioned the alleged threats issued against SKM by the SDF president and Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling in speeches, inconvenience to voters due to malfunctioning of EVMS/VVPAT, allegation of supporters of former SDF Minister DT Lepcha being caught with weapons, allegation against former SDF Minister GM Gurung trying to influence postal ballots of IRB personnel in Delhi.

No action has been taken on any of these complaints so far, said Mr Khaling.

SKM social media general secretary, Navraj Gurung, said that the number of postal ballots issued this year is much higher than in previous elections and questioned the hike in numbers. He said that over 15,000 postal ballots have been issued this year and argued that only around 9000 postal ballots should have been issued taking into account the employees engaged in the conduct of elections.

Mr Gurung sought an explanation from the Election Commission regarding this increase in the number of postal ballots.

Meanwhile, the party has also demanded that security be provided to the IRB jawan who had posted a video on social media accusing the SDF Minister, GM Gurung of trying to influence postal ballot voters. Mr Khaling alleged that SDF workers have been issuing threats to the IRB jawan on social media.

SKM also condemned the terrorist attack in Sri Lanka and condoled the demise of an IRB jawan in West Bengal.