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Cong to boycott Sikkim bypoll
 GANGTOK, Sept 30 - The Congress on Monday slammed the decision of the Election Commission of India which gave Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) a clean chit to contest the bypolls.

 Talking to the media, Congress state president Bharat Basnet said it was a “serious issue” that the EC gave a clean chit to the Chief Minister just a day after the BJP and the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha announced a pre-poll tie-up.

“It looks like the Constitution is not safe. How can the ECI give a clean chit when the case of illegal appointment of Chief Minister Golay is under observation at the Supreme Court,” he questioned. Basnet said that looking at the present situation, the Congress decided to boycott the bye-elections in three constituencies.

Hitting out at the regional parties SDF and SKM, he said these parties have always “betrayed” the people by stoking regional sentiments and accused them of bringing the BJP in Sikkim’s politics. He also criticised Governor Ganga Prasad for appointing Golay as the Chief Minister despite his conviction in a corruption case.

CM Tamang, footballer Bhaichung Bhutia file nomination papers: On the last day of filing of nominations for the bye-elections to three assembly constituencies on Monday, 18 candidates – including Chief Minister PS Tamang, footballer-turned-politician Bhaichung Bhutia and R Ongmu, the first woman minister of Sikkim – filed nomination papers.

In Poklok Kamrang constituency, Returning Officer (South District) Ragul K said seven nominations were received from four candidates – Chief Minister Tamang of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), Kharka Bahadur Rai of SKM, Moses Rai of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), and Yadhu Kumar Rai of Sikkim Republican Party (SRP).

In two constituencies of the East District – Gangtok and Martam-Rumtek (both Bhutia Lepcha seats) – 14 candidates filed their nominations.

Eight nominations were received for Martam Rumtek and six for Gangtok. The candidates are Nuk Tshering Bhutia (SDF), Sonam Tshering Venchungpa (BJP), Mingma Tshering Sherpa (SRP), Nima Lepcha (HSP), Passang G Sherpa (Independent), Sonam Tashi Bhutia (Independent), Mechung Bhutia (Independent ) and Chewang Dadul Bhutia (Independent) from Martam Rumtek constituency. Delay Namgyal Barfungpa (SNPP), Yomg Tshering Lepcha (BJP), Rinzing Ongmu Bhutia (SDF), Song Tshering Lepcha (SRP), Bhaichung Bhutia (HSP) and Karma Yenthen Chankapa (Independent) are contesting from the urban Gangtok constituency.

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