Sikkim government follows the general pattern of the state governments of Indian government. That is, it has a unicameral legislative body and an executive formed of a council of ministers headed by the chief ministers. The members to the state legislative are elected through the process of assembly elections. The present political structure of the government at Sikkim came about in 1975, when it became a part of the Indian democracy, shedding its monarchical roots.
Sikkim chief minister is at the helm of the executive council of the state. He guides the functions of the council of ministers, who look after various departments of the state's governance. Sri Pawan Chamling, the present Sikkim chief minister, is not only young and dynamic and is noted for his dedication for the people of his state, but is also loved for his extra-political and strong cultural profile. He is considered to be largely responsible for his party, the Sikkim Democratic Front's resounding success in the assembly elections of 2004.
Political Profile of Sri Pawan Chamling
Sri Pawan Chamling, the present chief minister in Sikkim, started his political career at a young age in 1973 and soon rose to be the vice-president of the district Youth Congress for South Sikkim, his native district. In 1978-84, be became the general secretary and the vice-president to the Sikkim Prajatantra Congress. His first office as a representative of the people was to be elected in Panchayat as a president in 1982. Three years later he was elected to the Sikkim legislative assembly. Sri Pawan Chamling joined the cabinet in 1989, when he became a minister for industries, information and public relations. In 1994, he became the chief minister of Sikkim for the first time, continuing in the same position after the stupendous win for SDF in the 2004 elections.
Sri Pawan Chamling, present chief minister at Sikkim, is a noted poet and is loved by one and all for his literary prowess. Having been the founder of the Nirman Prakashani, he also became the editor of a magazine released by the publishing house, Nirman. Sri Chamling, the present Sikkim chief minister, has penned many books of poetry and essays. He has received many prestigious awards from all over the country for his unique contribution to politics and poetry.
Sikkim Legislative Assembly
Sikkim legislative assembly< is the most important part of the legislature of Sikkim. The legislative assembly of Sikkim is comprised of a total of 32 members. They are chosen from same number of assembly constituencies distributed around the four districts of the state. The speaker is the most important person of the legislative assembly in Sikkim. He is responsible for a smooth running of the assembly. Sri DN Thakarpa is the speaker of the Sikkim legislative assembly. He is assisted in his job by the deputy speaker Sri Miningma Tshering Sherpa. The chief minister is the leader of the house. He leads the ruling party in the various discussions and debates in the house. Dr. Pawan Chamling is the leader of the Sikkim legislative assembly.
Members of Sikkim Legislative Assembly
A list of some of the key members of the legislative assembly at Sikkim along with their respective constituencies is provided below:
|Name of the MLA||Constituency|
|Sri Deepak Kr. Gurung||Dentam|
|Sri narendra K. Subba||HeeBermiok|
|Sri Dawcho Lepcha||Rinchenpong|
|Sri Ran Bahadur Subba||Deramdin|
|Sri C.B . Karki||Wok|
|Sri Girish Chandra Rai||Melli|
|Sri A.S. Baraily||Rateypani|
|Sri Bhim Dungyal||Rhenocl|
|Sri K.B. Chamling||Regu|
|Ms. Manita Manger||Losing Pachekhani|
|Sri B.M. Ramudamu||Khamdong|
|Sri Sonam Gyatso Lepcha||Dzongu|
|Sri Thinley Tshering Bhutia||Kabi Tintek|
|Sri Norjang Lepcha||Rakdong Tintek|
|Sri Kunga Zangpo Bhutia||Assam Ligzey|
|Ms. Nimthit Lepcha||Ranka|
|Sri N.K. Pradhan||Gangtok|
|Sri Tshering Lama||Sangha|
Sikkim Government Executive
The executive assembly of Sikkim government is a body of a council of ministers. Sri Pawan Chamling is the present chief minister of the government in Sikkim. He is at the helm of the council of ministries of Sikkim. Present council of ministers in Sikkim consists of 11 cabinet ministers. They are vested with the responsibility to look after the various departments of the governance of the state. There are over 30 government departments in Sikkim. The Sikkim High Court is the highest judicial body in the state.
Political parties in Sikkim participate whole-heartedly in the assembly and the parliamentary elections of the state. There are both national level and state level political parties in Sikkim, although current position of the state shows a clear preference for the regional parties over the national level parties.
National Political Parties in the State
Sikkim politics started to follow the democratic system laid down by the Indian constitution after the abolition of the monarchy in 1975, following the common will of the inhabitants. Many major political parties participate in the politics of Sikkim. Although, it has been often observed that individuals more than parties dominate Sikkim politics, yet the political parties try to maintain a strong organizational infrastructure.
The Framework of Sikkim Politics
The legislature of the Sikkim government has 32 assembly seats. One seat is reserved for the Sangha, the Buddhist representative - continuing with the tradition of the strong presence of the Buddhist theologians in Sikkim politics, right from the early days. The other 31 assembly constituencies are spread over the four districts of the state, form the very backbone of Sikkim politics. Sikkim has one representative each in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the Lower and the Upper Houses of bicameral Indian legislative structure. The executive works with a council of ministers working under the able supervision of the chief minister. Politics in Sikkim is dominated by the personal charisma of the certain leaders in the state, who have guided the proceedings of the state's governance right from the moment of its inception. It has not been rare in Sikkim politics, to see that the success of a particular party rests solely on the popularity of some of its leader. There are certain ethnic and religious considerations that play their part in determining the course of the politics at Sikkim. The immense popularity of Nar Bahadur Bhandari is a case in the point.
However, the situation has changed in the recent times. The political parties are moving towards strengthening their organizational strength. The dominance of the state level and regional political parties is also a notable feature of Sikkim politics. In the early days of the democracy in the state of Sikkim, the national level political parties started to make their presence felt more strongly in this picturesque Himalayan state. The Indian National Congress had the greatest influence of all other national political parties at Sikkim in that time, as it is now. The other national level political parties did not share the wide popularity that INC enjoyed. However, many of them have become proactive to increase their influence in this region.
State and Regional Political Parties of Sikkim
The state level political parties of Sikkim enjoy great popularity in the state. In fact, Sikkim is one of those few states where the state political parties enjoy popularity and power that is much higher than the high profile national political parties. There are many state and regional political parties in Sikkim. The history of the Sikkim political parties features a number of switches of loyalties, cessations and merges. Not all of them managed to have equal significance in the state's political scenario. However, Sikkim Democratic Party (SDF) enjoys great popularity in the state and continues to be the ruling party of the state for the last two assembly elections.
Sikkim Information Commission
Sikkim state commissions are specially formed by the government of Sikkim in order to oversee the functions of the various aspects of the governance of the state. The state commissions in Sikkim are set up from time to time, in order to satisfy the immediate needs as a given situation dictates, it can also be a permanent affair devoted to key issues like recruitment, investigation, research and development, etc. There are many commissions set up by the state government. The Sikkim state commission for women is one such key commission of the Sikkim state commissions, as is the State Information Commission of Sikkim.
Sikkim Commission for Women
The Sikkim State commission for women is a regional branch of the national commission for women as controlled and laid down by the center. This commission is primarily a human rights protection body, devoted towards protecting the social and individual rights of the women and children and free them from the clasps of oppression. The contact details of this extremely important branch of the state commissions are as follows:
Sikkim State Commission for Women
Old Secretariat Sikkim, Gangtok
The chairperson of the commission is Smt. Subdra Rai 94344-08727
Sikkim Information Commission
The Sikkim information commission is an extremely important wing of the state government. As a state correlative to the Central Information Commission of the Government of India, this particular wing of the Sikkim state commissions is devoted towards providing all necessary information through the various media sources to the receivers. The Sikkim Information Commissioners is at the helm of the activities of this commission and is directly answerable to the governor of the state. It usually involves the services of a cabinet minister appointed under the recommendation of the chief minister and the leader of the opposition.
The following details can be used to contact Sikkim Information Commission:
Chief Information Commissioner
Sikkim Information Commission,
Lower Secretariat, Gangtok, Sikkim
Ph. No. +91-3592-228526
State constituencies of Sikkim
State constituencies of Sikkim are the very backbone of the democratic governance of the state. Ever since Sikkim became a part of the Indian democracy in 2005, the various state constituencies of Sikkimhave been ascertained and thereafter been fiercely fought by both national and state level parties. The politics of Sikkim have seen a prominent presence of the state and regional parties, much more than is generally found in other parts of India. 32 assembly constituencies and one parliamentary constituency form the Sikkim state constituencies.
Assembly Constituencies of Sikkim
There are 32 assembly constituencies in Sikkim. These state constituencies at Sikkim elect candidates for the unicameral legislative council of the state. The elections in the assembly constituencies are some of the most fiercely fought polls in Sikkim. In the 2004 assembly elections, Sikkim Democratic Front made a clean sweep of the polling results, succeeding in all but one assembly constituency in the state. These state constituencies in Sikkim are divided into general, SC and BL seats, reserved for candidates belonging to the above categories.
A list of the assembly constituencies of Sikkim along with their respective categories are provided below:
|Name of the State Constituency||Category|
|Rateypani West Pendam||SC|
|Central Pendam East Pendam||General|
Parliamentary Constituency in Sikkim
Sikkim has only one parliamentary constituency, which is one of the most prestigious of the Sikkim state constituencies. The Sikkim parliamentary constituency sends a representative from the state to Lok Sabha of the Indian legislature. Therefore, election here is very fiercely fought by the various national and state level parties of the state. Even this constituency among the Sikkim state constituencies, has seen a dominance of the state level parties, with Sikkim Democratic Front winning it for the last four times.
Sikkim Council of Ministers
Sikkim Council of Ministers is chosen from within the members of the ruling party and is part of the state legislative assembly. The council of ministers in Sikkim is responsible for looking after the betterment of the state through a smooth functioning of the various departments that are central to the state's governance.Sikkim council of ministers is comprised of 12 cabinet ministers other than the chief minister of the state. The members of the council of ministers of Sikkim are helped in the disposal of their responsibilities by a group of committed bureaucrats. A list of the council of ministers at Sikkim, along with their respective offices is provided below.
|Dr. Pawan Chamling||Chief Minister||Revenue and Expenditure, Development and Planning, Home, Finance, Economic Reforms, North East Council Affairs
Other departments that are not specifically allotted to any other minister in the council.
|Sri Hishey Lachungpa||Minister||Health Care, Empowerment and Welfare Department, Human Services and Family Welfare Department and Social Justice|
|Sri Garjaman Gurung||Minister||Heritage, Human Resource Development Department and Cultural Affairs|
|Sri Dorjee Dazon Bhutiya||Minister||Urban Development and Housing Department, Irrigation and Flood Control, Land Revenue and Disaster management|
|Sri Prem Singh Tamang||Minister||Sports and Youth Affairs, Building and Housing Department|
|Sri Kedar Nath Rai||Minister||Cooperation Department, Rural Management and Development Department|
|Sri Dorjee Tshering Lepcha||Minister||Roads and Bridges, Labor|
|Sri Sher Bahadur Subedi||Minister||Environment and Wildlife Management, Forest, minerals and Geology, Mines, Science and Technology|
|Sri Ram Bahadur Subba||Minister||Tourism, Commerce and Industries, Law, Parliamentary Affairs|
|Sri Somnath Poudyal||Minister||Food Security and Agriculture, Horticulture and Cash Crops Development|
|Sri Menlom Lepcha||Minister||Transport, Water Security and Public Health Engineering|
|Smt. Kalawati Subba||Minister||Live Stock, Fisheries and Veterinary Services Department, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Animal Husbandry|
Speaker and Deputy Spreaker
The deputy speaker of Sikkim legislative assembly assists the honorable speaker to conduct the proceedings of the house. It is an extremely prestigious post and is generally handed out to a political personnel with immense experience and high political acumen. A kind of general and widespread acceptability also plays an important role in the appointment of the deputy speaker. Sri Minigma Tshering Sherpa is the present deputy speaker in Sikkim legislative assembly.
Biographical Profile of Deputy Speaker, Sikkim
Sri Minigma Tshering Sherpa, the deputy speaker, Sikkim, was born in 1944. He went on to procure a diploma in sheep husbandry and wool grading. A father of nine, Sri Tshering Sherpa is fond of reading and traveling. The deputy speaker of Sikkim feels highly for the cause of the upliftment of the poor and works tirelessly to ameliorate the predicament of the deprived classes of society.
Political Profile of the Deputy Speaker, Sikkim
The deputy speaker of Sikkim has an illustrious political career that has catapulted him to the said post. The political career of Sri Sherpa started early when he became a member of the Rashtriya Congress and thereafter a member of the Sikkim Sangram Parishad. He was elected to the Sikkim Legislative Assembly three times for the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF). His appointment as the chairman of the Denzontg Cooperative Society Limited bespeaks his wide acceptability and also for his zeal to work for the convenience of the poor. The political career of Sri Sherpa reached the zenith, when he was appointed as the deputy speaker at Sikkim legislative assembly on 24th May, 2004
Present Governor of Sikkim is Mr. Balmiki Prasad Singh.
Mr. B. P. Singh was nominated as the existing Sikkim Governor on 9th Jul., 2008 and is continuing in the same position till date. Thus, the total tenure of his present governorship is 11 years and 1.5 months.
B. P. Singh was born on 1st January, 1942 at Begusarai in the Indian state of Bihar.
Balmiki Prasad Singh was married to Late Smt. Karuna Singh. He has got two daughters named Sumita and Preeti and one son named Rajeev, all of whom are married.
Apart from a Post Graduate in the field of Arts from the Oxford University in United Kingdom (U. K.), B. P. Singh is the holder of Master's Degree in Political Science from Patna University. He is the recipient of numerous gold medals for his educational talent and even stood 1st Class First in the Post Graduate Examination of the Patna University. Mr. Singh scored record marks in that examination.
Mr. B. P. Singh started his career as a lecturer of Political Science in Patna University. Mr. Singh was one of the youngest people to hold such a position in a Post Graduate Department just at 19 years of age. Later in the year 1964, B. P. Singh became an I. A. S. (Indian Administrative Service) Officer and got posted in the north eastern state of Assam. The details regarding the 11 years' long Assam tenure can be gathered from the table given below:
|Total Tenure||Positions Held|
|1966 to 1968||S. D. O. (Sub-Divisional Officer), North Lakhimpur|
|1968 to 1970||Joint Secretary|
|1971 to 1972||Deputy Commissioner at Darrang in Tezpur|
|1973 to 1975||Deputy Commissioner at Kamrup in Guwahati|
During this period, he even became the Lifetime Member of the New Delhi based I. I. P. A. (Indian Institute of Public Administration). Besides holding different posts in Assam, the present Governor of Sikkim even held varied prestigious positions throughout his entire career of 40 years, which can be known from the below mentioned table:
|Total Tenure||Positions Held|
|1975 to 1979||Deputy Secretary and Director, Defence Ministry of the Government of India in New Delhi.|
|1980 to 1982||All Departments' Secretary under the supervision of the Chief Secretary as well as the Home Secretary to the Assam Government|
|1982 to 1984||Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow and Member of the Planning Board of Assam|
|1984 to 1989||Joint Secretary to the Steel and Mines Ministry of the India Government at New Delhi and Chairman cum Managing Director of the Hindustan Copper Limited (1 year)|
|1989 to 1990||Queen Elizabeth Fellow of Oxford University in U. K.|
|1990 to 1992||Production Commissioner of Agriculture and Special Secretary cum Commissioner of the Assam Government for the departments of Agriculture, Rural Development, Panchayat, Department of Fisheries and Animal Husbandry at Dispur in Guwahati.|
|1992 to 1993||Joint Secretary and then Additional Secretary to the New Delhi based Home Affairs Ministry of the Central Government.|
|1993 to 1995||Additional Secretary of the Environment and Forests Ministry of the Union Government in New Delhi, Chairman of the National Committee formed for the conservation of bio-diversity, Representative of Asia on Ramar Wetlands' Convention at Gland in Switzerland, Director of Bhopal based Indian School of Forest Management (I. S. F. M.) for a year and Lifetime Member of S. P. W. D. (Society for Promotion of Wasteland Development) in New Delhi|
|1995 to 1997||Union Cultural Secretary and Lifetime Member of I. N. T. A. C. H. (Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage).|
|1997 to 1999||Union Home Secretary, Secretary and Justice of the Government of India and Secretary of Affairs of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs of India's Government.|
|1999 to 2002||Executive Director of The World Bank, represented The World Bank Affiliates in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Founder cum Member Governors' Board of D. G. F. (Development Gateway Foundation) and Member of G. E. F. (Global Environment Facility) in Washington D. C.|
|15th August, 2002 to 8th July, 2008||Various honorary governmental and academic assignments, which includes Chancellor of the Sarnath based Central University of Tibetan Studies, Chief Editor of the "Perspectives on Economics, Technology and Governnance", a Southern Asia Series published by the Oxford University Press of New York, Chairman of the National Commission set up for Economically Backward Classes by the Government of India and Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow.|
|2008 to till date||Governor of Sikkim|
He even held the positions of Chancellor of the Sikkim Manipal University and President of the Gangtok based Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
Apart from being an exemplary civil servant involved in international affairs, Mr. B. P. Singh has always prioritized the concerns of the weak. During the period of 1992 and 1993, he formulated plans and models for the development of the tribal areas of different regions. Mr. Singh even set up a fund for National Culture and organized worldwide Golden Jubilee celebrations of Indian Independence. Besides these, he shared his knowledge and thought with people across the globe through his writings. Singh has penned down innumerable books, monographs and articles on public administration, politics, culture and ecology. The books authored by Mr. Balmiki Prasad Singh are as follows:
- Bahudha and the post - 9/11 World
- India's Culture
- Our India
- The Indian National Congress and Cultural Renaissance
- The Problem of Change
- Threads Woven
- Democracy, Ecology and Culture: The Indian Experience
- The Challenge of Good Governance in India: Need for Innovative Approaches, 2008
- Repositioning A Heritage: Raj Bhavan Gangtok
- Would Terrorism become a thing of the past: When and How?
Besides winning numerous gold medals during post graduation studies, Mr. Balmiki Prasad Singh won the following awards from time to time.
- Governor of Assam Gold Medal Award: 1991 (for exceptional service in the state of Assam)
- Gulzarilal Nanda Award: 1998 (for excellent Indian public services from the then President of India)
- Man of Letters Award: 11th June, 2003 (By Dalai Lama at New Delhi)
- Raj Bhavan
Gangtok, Sikkim, India.
Tel.: + 91 - 03592 - 202400/ 410
Fax: + 91 - 03592 - 202742
Sikkim High Court
Sikkim High Court is the apex body of the judicial system of Sikkim. It was established in 1975 and is presently one of the smallest high courts in the country, with only three sanctioned judges. Previously a national court, the High Court of Sikkim was granted state high court status in 1975. Sikkim High Court is located in the city of Gangtok.
Sikkim High Court was established as the apex court of the entire judicial system in 1975, on the basis of the 38th amendment of the Indian Constitution. Before that, it functioned as a national court. The judicial nexus of Sikkim works through the various district courts that are placed at the individual districts. However, it is the High Court in Sikkim that oversees the functions of these courts. The present chief minister, Sri Pawan Chamling is extremely keen to update and reform the functions of the Sikkim High Court and place the judicial operations in the state on a firm footing. The Sikkim High Court in Gangtok, has thus been the venue of conferences and symposiums in the recent years of many judicial representatives from across the country and even the supreme court; so that the judicial operations of the state can permeate even the lowest rungs of the largely tribal population. Therefore, the High court at Sikkim, despite being young and more recent than most other high courts of the country, has become an extremely significant judicial link in the nation's judicial system.
Last Updated on : 7 March 2013