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SDF names candidates

Gangtok, March 11: The Sikkim Democratic Front today announced its candidates for all 32 Assembly seats and the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state.

The party has introduced 10 new faces, retained 11 sitting MLAs and recalled nine party members to contest. Among the candidates, three are women who have already served one term.

The names of the candidates were announced by SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal at the party head office here this afternoon.

Lok Sabha member Prem Das Rai has been given the SDF ticket for the second time.

Party president and chief minister Pawan Chamling will contest from two constituencies — Namchi-Singithang and Rangrang-Yangang in South Sikkim.

The lone Rajya Sabha member from Sikkim, Hissey Lachungpa, has been fielded from Gangtok.

The 10 new candidates are: Sonam Dadul Bhutia from Yuksom-Tashiding (West district), Karma Sonam Lepcha from Rinchenpong (West district), A.K. Ghatani from Salghari-Zoom (West district) , D.N. Sherpa from Daramdin (West district), K.K. Thatal from West Pendam (East district), Bikram Pradhan from Chujachen (East district) , Bhasker Basnet from Tadong (East district), Udai Lama from Arithang (East district), D.R. Thapa from Burtuk (East district) and Palden Lachungpa from Sanga (monk seat).

Senior SDF ministers like D.N. Takarpa, C.B. Karki, D.B. Thapa, N.K. Pradhan and Neeru Sewa have been dropped.

The youngest candidate is Bikram Pradhan, 34, from Chujachen and the oldest is D.D. Bhutia, 68, from Barfung (South district).

Menlom Lepcha, 45, who has been given the ticket of Rumtek constituency in East Sikkim, said: “I respect the decision of the party and I will leave no stone unturned in making my party win.”

The Opposition party Sikkim Krantikari Morcha is yet to announce its candidates.

Congress nominee

The Congress on Tuesday introduced the party’s candidate for Alipurduar parliamentary constituency, Joseph Munda, before workers. Biswaranjan Sarkar, the PCC general secretary, introduced Munda. The candidate had won the Assembly election from Nagrakata in 2011. He was the pradhan and upa-pradhan of Mateli gram panchayat. Munda’s main rivals are Manohar Tirkey of RSP and Dasarath Tirkey of Trinamul.