Sikkim witnesses 15% polling in first 3 hours



Around 15 per cent votes were cast in the first three hours of polling in Sikkim on Thursday in simultaneous elections for a new 32-member state Legislative Assembly and to pick its only Lok Sabha member.

"Around 15 per cent polling has been reported overall," sources in the state Chief Electoral Officer's office said.

Voting began at 7 a.m. and will end at 5 p.m. A total of 423,325 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 567 polling stations to choose their representatives from among 150 candidates for the state Assembly and 11 for the lone Lok Sabha seat.

The state is largely witnessing a three-way fight between Chief Minister Pawan Chamling's Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) led by P.S. Golay, a former SDF Minister, and the Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) of former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress are also in the state that borders Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.

Chamling is contesting from two seats, Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi Singhithang, while Bhutia is in the fray from Gangtok and Tumen Lingi seats.-IANS