Prem Singh Tamang sworn in as Sikkim chief minister for second term - Hindustan Times
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Prem Singh Tamang sworn in as Sikkim chief minister for second term

Jun 10, 2024 08:02 PM IST

Governor Lakshman Acharya administered the oath of office and secrecy to Tamang and his council of ministers at a ceremony at Gangtok’s Paljor stadium

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) president Prem Singh Tamang was sworn in as Sikkim’s chief minister for the second consecutive term on Monday.

Prem Singh Tamang greets people after taking oath as the Sikkim chief minister during the swearing-in ceremony at Panjor Stadium in Gangtok on Monday. (ANI)
Prem Singh Tamang greets people after taking oath as the Sikkim chief minister during the swearing-in ceremony at Panjor Stadium in Gangtok on Monday. (ANI)

Governor Lakshman Acharya administered the oath of office and secrecy to Tamang and his council of ministers at a ceremony at Gangtok’s Paljor stadium. Eleven SKM legislators took oath as Cabinet ministers.

The ceremony, which started at 4.30pm, was attended by special invitees and more than 30,000 people from all over the Himalayan state. The state government ordered the closure of all educational institutions in and around Gangtok as a security measure. A half-day holiday was also declared at all government offices and PSUs in the area following an order issued by chief secretary V B Pathak.

SKM secured a landslide victory in the assembly elections, winning 31 of the state’s 32 seats that went to polls on April 19 along with general election in the sole Lok Sabha constituency of the state. The opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), headed by former chief minister Pawan Chamling, won only one. The results were declared on June 4.

The chief minister, who contested two seats-- Soreng-Chekung and Rhenock--, won both by more than 7,000 votes in each. His wife, Krishna Kumar Rai, secured the Namchi-Singhithang seat.

Chamling, who was Sikkim’s chief minister for 25 years from 1994 to 2019, a record in India, lost from Namcheybong and Poklok-Kamrang, the two constituencies he contested, by 3,063 and 2,256 votes, respectively. SDF’s Tenzing Norbu Lamtha emerged as SDF’s sole winner from the Shyari seat in east Sikkim. Lamtha was an SKM leader, but he switched sides after Kunga Nima Lepcha, a minister, was fielded from Shyari by the ruling party.

Raju Basnet, a former bureaucrat who defeated Chamling at Namcheybung and Bhoj Raj Rai, who defeated the former chief minister from Poklok Kamrang, took oath as Cabinet ministers on Monday.

Samdup Lepcha, who defeated SDF’s heavyweight candidate and former Rajya Sabha MP Hishey Lachungpa, was also made a minister.

N B Dahal, who defeated SDF’s Dr M K Sharma, a former health minister, also found a berth in the Cabinet but five former SKM ministers, who got re-elected, were left out.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which shares a friendly relationship with SKM, drew a blank in the polls and so did the newly formed Citizen Action Party (CAP).

BJP state president D R Thapa lost from the Upper Burtuk seat while voters at Melli rejected Ganesh Kumar Rai, CAP’s chief ministerial candidate.

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