Sikkim's lone opposition MLA joins ruling SKM

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Gangtok, Jul 10 (PTI) Tenzing Norbu Lamtha, the lone Sikkim Democratic Front MLA on Wednesday joined the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha claiming that the public mood is overwhelmingly in favour of the SKM led by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang.

With Lamtha joining SKM, there will be no opposition in the Sikkim Assembly as SKM has all the 32 seats in the state.

"I consulted my constituents who suggested to me to join the SKM as the mood and momentum is in favour of the ruling party," he told reporters.

Hailing the leadership of Tamang, Lamtha said the "SKM government did a tremendous job in the past five years for the development of the state and welfare of the people who handed a landslide mandate to the ruling party in appreciation of its performance." The first-time MLA from Shyari constituency claimed that the people have clearly given a message that there was no need for opposition to the SKM in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and outside as reflected in the mandate.

Earlier, the chief minister welcomed Lamtha into the SKM family saying: "I am pleased to meet the Hon'ble Member of Legislative Assembly from the 23-Syari Constituency, Shri Tenzing Norbu Lamtha, at my official residence, Mintokgang, today." "He has officially joined our SKM family," he said in a Facebook post.

Tamang said Lamtha raised several commendable concerns related to the welfare of his constituency which will be considered for the benefit of the entire Syari constituency under a comprehensive development plan for the area and its people.

Lamtha had defeated senior SKM leader and Education Minister Kunga Nima Lepcha by 1,314 votes in the assembly polls held recently.

The speculation about him joining the SKM was ripe since the results were declared on June 2 with Lamtha hinting that he may switch sides for the sake of development of his constituency.

"I will decide the future course post public consultation," he was quoted as saying when asked about his next move.

The SKM had won 31 seats in the 32-member Sikkim Assembly while the opposition SDF won only one seat. PTI KDK RG

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