Nearly 60 per cent of the candidates fighting elections in Sikkim since 1979 have lost their deposits, demonstrating that voters here largely trust established political names.
According to data available with the state election department, as many as 553 candidates out of 939 have forefeited their deposits in the five Assembly and Lok Sabha elections held in Sikkim since 1979.
In the first Assembly polls held in 1979 after Sikkim’s emergence as the 22nd state of the Indian union, a record 173 candidates out of 244 forfeited their deposits, with an Independent candidate, Uday Kumar Rai, bagging five votes in the Damthang Assembly seat.
The 1979 elections are also distinguished by a record 48 women participating in the ballots - a record which stands even today.
In the next Assembly polls five years later, a total 195, including 11 women, entered the electoral fray of which 133 lost their deposits.
In the 1989 Assembly polls, 64 out of 118 candidates forfeited their deposits.