District cells in Sikkim to ensure peace during campaigning

Published on Apr 02, 2004 01:02 PM IST

A panel will be set up soon in each of Sikkim's 4 districts to resolve disputes among political parties and ensure peaceful campaigning.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Gangtok

A coordination committee will be set up soon in each of Sikkim's four districts to resolve disputes among political parties and ensure peaceful campaigning for the coming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.

The decision to set up the committees was taken at an all-party meeting convened by the state election department here recently which was chaired by the Chief Secretary, S W Tenzing, official sources said today.

To be headed by the district collectors-cum-returning officers of each district, these committees would comprise the SPs and two members each from the 'registered' political parties of the state, they said.

The decision was taken after reports of recurring and sporadic skirmishes among political parties mainly between the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front and the opposition Congress in the course of campaigning across the state, they said.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Secretary issued an appeal to the political parties to eschew violence and live up to Sikkim's reputation as a peaceful state.

The political parties were also told that wall writings and graffiti would be allowed only on buildings identified for the purpose by the state election department.

Following a request to this effect from political parties, the Chief Electoral Officer, T T Dorjee, also assured that special training programmes would be held to educate the polling agents of all the political parties about the use of Electronic Voting Machines which are being used for the first time in the state in these elections.

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