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Gangtok civic chief removed

Gangtok, March 27: The Gangtok municipal corporation yesterday removed K.N. Topgay, who joined the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha recently, as the mayor and disqualified him as a member of the civic body on grounds of “defecting to another political party”.

Topgay, 56, had joined P.S. Golay-led SKM on March 22 after resigning as a member of the Sikkim Democratic Front, the party he had joined in 2004.

Topgay was a central executive committee member of the SDF. He was elected as the mayor in 2010.

“A unanimous resolution was passed on a special sitting of all councillors which decided to remove Topgay from the mayor’s post. His removal was according to the relevant sections of the Sikkim Municipalities Act, 2007. The Act says any councillor can be removed if he or she defects from the party,” said deputy mayor Shakti Singh Chaudhary.

Section 18 of the Act says, “Any member of the urban local bodies representing a political party will cease to be the member of the urban bodies if he ceases to be the member of the political party concerned.”

Yesterday, 11 councillors, all from the SDF, attended the meeting.

The civic body has 15 wards and Topgay was the councillor of Chandmari (East Sikkim).

“The councillor of Upper Sichey, Nil Bahadhur Chettri, resigned from the SDF and joined the SKM last year. The two wards (Chandmari and Upper Sichey) will hold byelections in six months,” said an official at the civic body.

Two other councillors, both from the SDF, are contesting the Assembly polls this time. If they win, they would have to resign as councillors and bypolls would be held to the wards. The process to elect the new mayor is likely to start only after councillors are elected in all wards.