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Party Competition in Indian StatesElectoral Politics in Post-Congress Polity$
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Suhas Palshikar, K C Suri, and Yogendra Yadav

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198099178

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198099178.001.0001

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A Case of Dominance of the Ruling Party

(p.309) 13 Sikkim
Party Competition in Indian States

Banasmita Bora

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the continued dominance of a one-party system in Sikkimese politics in the parliamentary and state election of 2009, where the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) had a clear victory. In the absence of a competitive electoral environment in the state, actual performance of the government and the popularity of the Chief Minister combine to produce the absolute control of the SDF over the electorate. An opposition alliance against the SDF was short-lived. Politics of inclusive identity seems to be gaining ground in Sikkimese politics, with the ‘right’ number of representatives of different communities in the parties considered important. Chamling’s personality might have played an important role in the popularity of the SDF over the years but his absolute power has led to a deep political frustration not only among the opposition but also within his own party. However in spite of this, Chamling is way ahead and secure in the absence of any alternative leadership.

Keywords:   party system, Sikkim Democratic Front, inclusive identity, Pawan Kumar Chamling, alternative leadership

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