MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS ON 31 MARCH2 Municipal Councils become NagarPanchayats, GMC gets 2 more wards


SAGAR CHETTRI

GANGTOK, 25 Feb: Elections to the 7 Municipal bodies in Sikkim will be held on 31 March this year. This will be the first non-party based Municipal elections in the state which means no political party

can field candidates. The State Election Commission today announced the dates for the Municipal Elections while the official notification is scheduled to be issued on 01 March following which the model

code of conduct will immediately come into force in municipal areas. It may be mentioned that the current government amended the Sikkim Municipalities Act 2007 in November last year to make it non-party based. As per the amendment, a new section ’14 A’ was inserted after the section 14 of the said Act stating that “No person shall contest the election to any municipality with the support, direct or indirect of any political party.” The last date for filing of nomination is 08 March, which will be

followed by scrutiny of nomination on 09 March and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures

is 11 March. The date of polling is 31 March and the counting of votes will take place on 03 April.

The entire election process has to be completed by 06 April. Addressing a press conference here this

morning, State Election Commissioner, Nima L Yethenpa, informed that following delimitation the number of wards under Gangtok Municipal Corporation has increased to 19 from 17. The newly created wards under GMC are Bojoghari 2nd Mile and Pani House. On the other hand, two Municipal Councils

have been demoted to Nagar Panchayats. Gyalshing Municipal Council in West Sikkim and Naya Bazaar-Jorethang Municipal Council in South Sikkim have been converted to Nagar Panchayats with both seeing a reduction in the number of wards from 7 to 5. This means that the total number of wards

going to poll in the state has come down from 53 to 51 this year. Only Namchi Municipal Council which has been selected for the Smart City Project has retained the Municipal Council status out of the three that Sikkim had till now. Interestingly, for the first time the number of male voters [42341] is more than the number of female voters [40475]. Voting will take place through 90 polling stations in the different wards. The district-wise details of existing and newly delimitated Municipal wards are 19 wards in Gangtok Municipal Corporation, 7 wards in Namchi Municipal Council and 5 wards each in Singtam Nagar Panchayat,