Regional

Sikkim Assembly seat expansion on the card

Gangtok, Aug 13 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/13/2018 12:42:31 PM IST

The Union Home Ministry has moved the Union Cabinet to increase the number of seats in the Sikkim Assembly from 32 to 40, according to media reports from New Delhi.

A senior Home Ministry official was quoted as saying that the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will soon decide on the proposal.

If approved, it will be the first expansion of the Assembly since Sikkim merged with India in 1975, the media reports added.

Reports claimed the official saying that the polls would then be held for the expanded Assembly next year. The seats are being increased to accommodate the Limboo and Tamang communities, notified as Scheduled Tribes in January 2003.

Of the eight new seats, five will be reserved for them. Notably, a petition was moved in the Supreme Court for seat reservation of the Limboos and Tamangs in the Assembly, and the apex court on January 4, 2016 directed the Home Ministry to take action.

They were declared as Scheduled Tribe in 2003 under Article 342 of the Constitution. There are around 90,000 Limboo-Tamangs in Sikkim.

Earlier in the month of July a delegation of the two communities had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi to expedite the process of increasing the number of seats.

Taking along with them a forwarding letter from State Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, the team also met President Ram Nath Kovind, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, Home Secretary and Cabinet Secretary.

 

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