In a major political upheaval in the north-eastern state of Sikkim, 10 MLAs of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party have joined the BJP in presence of BJP President JP Nadda and General Secretary Ram Madhav.
Delhi: 10 MLAs of Sikkim Democratic Front join BJP in presence of BJP Working President JP Nadda and General Secretary Ram Madhav pic.twitter.com/7bsdcEfdDP
— ANI (@ANI) August 13, 2019
There are two significant political parties in Sikkim-Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) headed by Prem Singh Tamang and Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), headed by Pawan Kumar Chamling. Sikkim Legislative Assembly has 32 seats and is currently governed by SKM with 17 seats with Prem Singh Tamang as the Chief Minister. SDF is the only opposition party which won the remaining 15 seats. But the party has actually 14 MLAs as Pawan Kumar Chamling contested and won from two seats.
The induction of 10 MLAs into the BJP is hailed as a major shot in the arm for the saffron party as it focuses its effort to increase its foothold in the north-east region. Sikkim was the only state in the region where BJP has no presence until today. BJP has its government in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura while it is in alliance with the ruling parties in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram.
With the inclusion of 10 MLAs in the BJP, the SDF has been reduced to a historic low of 5. There are reports suggesting that remaining party MLAs will soon follow the suit and join the BJP leaving only the former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling.
Pawan Kumar Chamling was the Cheif Minister of Sikkim for 25 years for 5 five consecutive terms, from 1993 to 2019. He finally lost the assembly elections to SKM in assembly elections held this year along with Lok Sabha polls.