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SKM, BJP join hands for Sikkim bypolls
A Correspondent
 GANGTOK, Sept 28 - The ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) has announced a pre-poll tie-up with the BJP for the upcoming bypolls to three Assembly constituencies in the State.

Addressing reporters here today, SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling said that the party would have a seat-sharing deal with the BJP for the by-elections. The SKM will leave two seats – Gangtok and Martam Rumtek – for the BJP.

Gangtok and Martam Rumtek are reserved for the Bhutia-Lepcha community. The third seat at Poklok Kamrang is, however, unreserved. Gangtok and Martam Rumtek were vacated by SKM’s Kunga Nima Lepcha and BJP’s DT Lepcha respectively, while Poklok Kamrang, which is considered an SDF stronghold, was vacated by former Chief Minister and SDF supremo Pawan Chamling after his election from two seats.

Khaling said that the alliance was an attempt to fulfil Sikkim’s long-standing political demands. These include reservation of seats in the Assembly for the Limboo and Tamang communities, tribal status for 11 communities of the State and bringing Buddhist guru Karmapa to the State.

He further stated that the SKM parliamentary board would decide the candidate for Poklok Kamrang.

BJP State president DB Chauhan, State BJP in-charge Nitin Nabin and senior SKM leaders were also present during the media briefing.

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