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Sikkim CM sworn-in for fourth term

Gangtok, Wed, 20 May 2009 NI Wire

Pawan Kumar Chamling, founder of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party, was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Sikkim on Wednesday for the fourth consecutive term.

Governor B P Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to Chamling and his 11 cabinet members at Raj Bhawan in Gangtok.

The new Cabinet has nine new faces, including two women Neeru Sewa and Tilu Gurung. The other members who have been inducted as cabinet ministers are Bhim Dhungel, C B Karki, R B Subba, N K Pradhan, former Assembly speaker D N Thakarpa and Sonam Gyasto Lepcha.

T T Bhutia and D B Thapa are only the two ministers who have ministerial experience. The portfolios were not announced at the swearing-in ceremony.

Lepcha and Gurung took oath of office in the vernacular Nepali language while rest of the minister took in English.

The SDP bagged all 32 Assembly seats as well as the single Lok Sabha seat from the state in recently concluded 2009 parliamentary elections.

Since the formation of the Sikkim Democratic Front on March 4, 1993, Chamling as its founder has won all the four Assembly elections held so far in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009 and formed the SDF government in the state.

Chamling’s, who has gradually emerged as a strong leader in Sikkim, performance as a leader and as a party head has been ameliorated continuously in the four consecutive Assembly elections. In 1994, SDF had won 19 Assembly seats and its vote share was 62 percent. In 1999, its seat increase to 24 and vote share to 62 per cent. SDF further done remarkably well in 2004 with 31 seats and 71 percent vote share; and in 2009, the party reached to extreme wresting all the 32 Assembly seats.

With the 2009 win the 59-year-old Chief Minister Chamling has broken the record of former chief minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari’s rule of 15 years.

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