Sikkim's ruling party seeks expansion of state assembly

New Delhi, Dec 11: Sikkim's lone Lok Sabha MP P.D. Rai has presented a list of "long-pending demands" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that also urged for the expansion of the Sikkim Assembly from its present 32 to 40 seats, a statement said.

Rai's statement to the media on Tuesday said that Modi has assured him that they would be "looked into sincerely".

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The demands also include that there should be five seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribes of Limboo and Tamang and a bill be introduced for the same.

If that was not viable during the winter session underway, then an ordinance must be promulgated.

He also brought up the issue of giving tribal status to 11 left-out indigenous Nepali communities from Sikkim under the aegis of the 371 F provisions of the Constitution of India.

The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front, led by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, has been in power in the Northeastern state for a record 25 years. It has 22 out of 32 seats in the state assembly.

The state was likely to go to the polls along with the 2019 general elections.

Rai's meeting with the Prime Minister took place in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meeting convened before the beginning of the winter session.

Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were also present.

The Prime Minister assured that the issues will be looked into sincerely, a statement from the MP's office said.