Sikkim is the least populous state in India, with just 610,577 residents.
It’s also one of India’s more remote states, nudged in the Himalayan mountains with Chinese Tibet to its north, Nepal to its west and Bhutan to its east. Darjeeling, the town in West Bengal state known so well for the tea of the same name, lies just south of Sikkim. In the colonial period, in fact, Darjeeling was part of Sikkim.
But its state elections will take the spotlight briefly this weekend, when its chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling tries to win a fifth consecutive term — if he does, he could become the longest-serving chief minister in India’s history.*
Chamling leads the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF, सिक्किम प्रजातान्त्रिक मोर्चा), which is about as dominant a regional force as you’ll find in India. Not only does it hold Sikkim’s one seat in the national parliament, but it holds every single at in Sikkim’s 32-member legislative assembly. Continue reading Chamling hopes to break record as India’s longest-serving chief minister