"The state is holding polls for the 32-seat assembly simultaneously with the general elections."
Gangtok, April 12 - Long queues were seen at most of the polling stations in Sikkim Saturday as more than a quarter of the electorate had voted for the lone Lok Sabha constituency and 32 assembly seats in the first four hours, officials said.

By 11 a.m., 27.42 percent voters had cast their ballot, poll official Anil Raj Rai told IANS.

No untoward incident was reported anywhere and voting is taking place in a peaceful manner, the official said, adding there were some technical difficulties with the EVMs in some places, but these were sorted quickly.

The voter turnout was enthusiastic at most of 538 polling stations.

There are 362,326 eligible voters in the state out of which 175,549 or 48.45 percent are women.

As many as 3,228 poll officials have been deployed.

Six candidates are in fray for the Lok Sabha polls. Sitting MP Prem Das Rai of the Sikkim Democratic Front is re-contesting, while Akar Dhoj Limbu from the Congress, Nar Bahadur Khatiwara from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Kaushal Rai of the Aam Aadmi Party are hoping to give him a fight.

Rai said that anti-incumbency is not a factor, and draws confident from the fact that Sikkim has elected SDF candidates in all five Lok Sabha elections since 1996.

The state is holding polls for the 32-seat assembly simultaneously with the general elections.

Only the SDF, SKM and the Congress have put up candidates in all the assembly seats, the BJP in 13 and the Trinamool Congress in seven. The SDF had made a clean sweep of all the seats in 2009.


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