Regional

Sikkim seeks expansion of state assembly

New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) | Publish Date: 12/11/2018 11:47:46 AM IST

Sikkim’s lone Lok Sabha MP P.D. Rai has presented a list of “long-pending demands” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pleaded for increasing the strength of the Sikkim Assembly from its present 32 to 40 seats.

Modi has assured him that the demands would be “looked into sincerely,” Rai said in a statement to the media on Tuesday. 
The demands include that five seats should be reserved for the Scheduled Tribes of Limboo and Tamang and a bill be introduced for the same. 
If that was not viable during the winter session underway, an ordinance must be promulgated.
He also brought up the issue of giving tribal status to 11 left-out indigenous Nepali communities from Sikkim under the 371 F provisions of the Constitution of India. The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front, led by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, has been in power in the Northeastern state for a record 25 years. It has 29 out of 32 seats in the state assembly. The state was likely to go to the polls along with the 2019 general elections. 
Rai’s meeting with the Prime Minister took place in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meeting convened before the beginning of the winter session.

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