Chamling kicks off election campaign in Sikkim
"The new government will be youth-centric," said Chamling, who is bidding to be the Chief Minister of Sikkim, a strategically located border state, for a record sixth term.
In a social media post, Chamling wrote: "We will be commencing our election campaign, starting from Lall Bazar, Gangtok, and covering every place on its way towards Namchi, South Sikkim. I will interact with the members of the public along the route."
Sikkim has 400,000 voters, but because of its mountainous geography, it is a challenge to connect with them.
The 2019 elections will test all the three main contenders -- the SDF, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) and the Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP). Some smaller parties are also in the contest to corner some of the 32 Assembly seats and the lone Lok Sabha seat.
With the breakdown in alliance talks between the SKM and the BJP over seats, the contest will be between three local parties. The SKM leadership has said they would not join hands with the BJP until certain demands are met.
The decision to call off the alliance, taken during the SKM central executive committee meeting at Jorethang in South Sikkim, was shared on social media by SKM functionaries.
The SKM is led by P.S. Golay, who was a Minister in the SDF government before being removed on corruption charges. He even spent two years in prison. Golay had said the charges against him were trumped up.