Ruling Front’s only contest for 420 panchayat wards comes from 535 Independents
GANGTOK, 02 Nov: Panchayat elections 2012 will be held Saturday and despite the Sikkim Democratic Front having swept more than half the panchayat wards uncontested the remaining seats may still witness some fight. There are a total of 535 independent candidates in the electoral fray all over the state, which is by far the highest number of independent candidates the state has seen in panchayat elections thus far.
These are only the independent candidate figures minus the SDF candidates who altogether will be contesting the 420 panchayat wards going to poll in the state. The rest - 566 wards - have already gone to SDF uncontested.
There are a good many panchayat wards which have a three-way contest; a total of 66 panchayat wards all over the state which will witness a 3 way contest or even higher. There are some wards with as many as 5 candidates contesting the polls at the ward level.
There are also a handful of wards where the SDF has not fielded a candidate. There are as many as 14 panchayat wards in the state where the SDF has not put up a candidate.
The East district has the most number of independent candidates contesting the panchayat elections. As many as 214 independent candidates in the district are contesting the 137 wards.
The total number of panchayat wards in East district is 290. Out of the 137 wards which will see a contest, there are 35 wards which have a three way contest; this includes 7 wards which have a 4 way contest.
This is also the only district which has a Congress candidate contesting a ward seat - in Rumtek. Interestingly there are 5 wards in the district where the SDF does not have an official candidate.
South has a total of 141 Independent candidates for the 99 wards going to poll. 133 wards in the district have already been bagged by SDF party. Of the 99 wards there are as many as 25 wards which have 3 or more candidates contesting and this includes 2 wards which have a 4 way contest and another 2 wards with a 5 way contest. There are also 7 panchayat wards in the district where the SDF has not put up a candidate for the polls.
In West, the total number of independent candidates is 151 who will contest for the 136 seats which are going to polls tomorrow. Out of a total of 317 panchayat seats the SDF has already won 181 seats uncontested. There are 6 panchayat wards which have 3 or more candidates and there are at least 3 wards where the SDF has no candidate.
North district has only 29 independents in the poll for the 28 seats which are being contested. Of the total 111 wards the SDF has got 80 uncontested. Of these 28 seats there is one ward without an SDF candidate; this is ward Manul under Toong Naga gram panchayat unit.