Mayor question rise as GMC poll dust settles

Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 08:30 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 03:00 [IST]

Mayor question rise as GMC poll dust settles

BIJOY GURUNG

Youth, first-timers bring josh to new GMC body
GANGTOK, : Lower Sichey was explicitly clear on who should head the GMC while Upper M.G. Marg saw an electoral defeat of its unofficial Mayor candidate on Saturday. The other 13 winning independent candidates displayed no aspirations to become Gangtok’s first citizen and were happy, for now, to have cleared the first examination of their political aspirations.
Kala Rai, the SKM Nari Morcha leader, comfortably won from Lower Sichey ward on Saturday as an independent candidate and her victory remarks stood by her election campaign assertion that Gangtok Municipal Corporation (GMC) should have a woman Mayor this time.
The thought is excellent, said Kala Rai when asked by media about her thoughts now on her established election stand that GMC should be led by a woman.
When further asked on her assertion that GMC should have a woman Mayor, Kala Rai said: “I still assert this.”
Will Kala Rai be the Mayor?, media asked.
Wait for two-three days on this, replied the Lower Sichey councillor.
Kala Rai received 1179 votes in her favour from Lower Sichey ward which had five women candidates when the results were announced at DAC, Sichey here on Saturday. Her nearest rival got 619 votes.
“I am totally satisfied with the result. From top level to bottom, there were people against me and I took this as a challenge. They used other candidates to run a campaign against me and this result is a sweet reply to them. Everyone knows whom I am talking about,” said Kala Rai.
Upper M.G. Marg, the showpiece ward of Gangtok featuring nine candidates, saw businessman Sundeep Malu emerging victorious with 336 votes. His nearest rival Kailash Agarwal got 269 votes.
“The voters of Upper M.G. Marg understood the situation and took the correct decision. It was a very challenging battle…everyone knows who was behind whom and despite this, I won and I am thankful to the voters of my ward,” said Malu.
Mallu, to a question, agreed that election campaigning in Upper M.G. Marg ward was vicious with allegations of political backing surrounding some candidates.
“Allegations were also made against me. Some alleged that I was from this or that party. It was also alleged that some leader gave me money to contest but I gave focus on my campaign and work hard for a month,” said Malu.
To another question on being in the race for Mayor’s post, Malu replied that he has not thought on it. I will be happy with whatever decision is taken later, he said.
Municipal election in Sikkim is being conducted in a partyless manner wherein no candidate has been fielded by any political party. As such, there would be no whip issued by the political parties to the elected councillors regarding the party’s choice of Mayor or deputy Mayor in GMC.
The Mayor question gets further intricate with the electoral defeat of a certain candidate from Upper M.G. Marg ward who was contended as the unofficial Mayor candidate.
Many winning candidates from GMC were youth and first-timers in politics.
In Daragaon-Lumsey ward, youth Milan Gautam secured victory with 1465 votes in his favour.
Speaking to media, Gautam said he will work collectively with the people to address the problems and issues of Daragaon-Lumsey ward, one of the most densely populated areas of Gangtok. Whatever are the demands and work of the people, those would be my priorities, he said.
Chungkela Lepcha, one of the youngest candidates in Sikkim municipal election, said she is very excited to work for the Chandmari residents as their councillor. She received 1050 votes in her favour. I will work collectively with the people for the development of our ward, she said.
Results were announced for 15 wards of GMC following polling in these wards on March 31. No voting was required for the remaining four wards which had uncontested candidates.
Five counting tables were set up at the counting hall in DAC (east), Sichey with counting progressing ward-wise. As many as twenty counting supervisors and counting assistants were assigned to the respective counting tables for counting of votes along with their in-charge.  The entire procedure of counting of votes was video recorded, informs an IPR release.
The winning candidate from each of the contesting ward was presented the Certificate of Election by the Municipal Returning Officer (East) Ragul K. in the presence of Election Observers Tshewang Gyachho and Kuber Bhandari.
After the completion of counting procedure for each ward, the EVMs were shifted and stored in the strong room. The strong room was sealed by the Municipal Returning Officer in the presence of the Elections Observers and other officers, the IPR release mentions.
SWEET VICTORY: Tathangchen candidate Pema Lhamu Lamtha celebrating her victory with her supporters outside the DAC, Sichey after election results were announced on Saturday. She secured 856 votes to be elected as the Tathangchen ward councillor under GMC.
“I am thankful to all the voters of Tathangchen. It is not my victory. It is their victory. I feel people supported me because they know my social work in the locality and they know my principles. Together, we will make Tathangchen a model ward,” said Pema Lhamu Lamtha to media.
GANGTOK MUNICIPAL CORPORATION
Bojoghari ward: Palzor Lepcha (667 votes)
Burtuk ward: Nell Bahadur Chettri (1068 votes)
Lower Sichey ward: Kala Rai (1179 votes)
Chandmari ward: Chungkela Lepcha (1050 votes)
Tathangchen ward: Pema Lhamu Lamtha (856 votes)
Development Area ward: Tshering Palden Bhutia (1434 votes)
DPH ward: Bindhya Cintury (1055 votes)
Arithang-II ward: Raju Tamang (1187 votes)
Tibet Road ward: Diki Lhamu Lepcha (586 votes)
Pani House ward: Norbu Tamang (576 votes)
Daragaon-Lumsey ward: Milan Gautam (1465 votes)
Tadong ward: Chewang Thendup Lepcha (659 votes)
Lower M.G.Marg-Lall Bazaar ward: Ashok Kumar Prasad (1041 votes)
Upper M.G. Marg ward: Sundeep Malu (336 votes)
Ranipool ward: Asha Chettri (1467 votes)
SINGTAM NAGAR PANCHAYAT
Pipal Dara ward: Yad Kri. Kami (298 votes)
Daragaon ward: Mukesh Agarwal (285 votes)
Mandir Line ward: Bindhya Subba (348 votes)
Lall Bazaar ward: Kishore Chettri (160 votes)
Chisopani ward: Suresh Kr. Tamang (415 votes)
RANGPO NAGAR PANCHAYAT
Majhitar ward: Sanju Manger (616 votes)
Mining ward: Radha Pradhan (341 votes)
Mandi Bazaar ward: Sanjeev Kumar Khati (474 votes)
Rangpo Upper Bazaar ward: Pinku Kumar Prasad (353 votes)

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi