GANGTOK- BJP candidate Dorjee Tshering Lepcha won the lone Rajya Sabha seat on Friday in Sikkim uncontested as no other candidate filled the nomination papers, officials said.
Lepcha, who was the only person to file nomination for the election, was declared elected after his papers were scrutinised and found to be in order, they said.
Lepcha received the certificate of his election to the Upper House of Parliament from Returning Officer Lalit Kumar Gurung, who is the secretary of the state assembly.
Assistant Returning Officer Karma T Gyatso Bhutia and Observer Pema Lhaden Lama were also present when the certificate was handed to him.
As the Rajya Sabha MP from Sikkim, Lepcha will succeed SDF’s Hishey Lachungpa whose second term will end on February 23.
The candidature of Lepcha, who was an MLA from the Gnathang Machong seat in Pakyong district, was backed by the ruling SKM. He was a minister in the previous SDF government, and held portfolios such as Buildings & Housing, and Transport. In the 32-member Sikkim assembly, SKM has 19 members, BJP has 12 and the SDF has one member.
BJP did not win any seat in the last assembly elections, in which the SKM came to power. Lepcha along with nine MLAs of the SDF switched over to the BJP, making it the second largest party in the assembly overnight. Later, the BJP also won by-elections to two seats, taking its tally to 12.
Lepcha’s Rajya Sabha nomination is being considered as his reward for helping the BJP become a major player in the Himalayan state. He will be the second MP from a national party to represent Sikkim in Rajya Sabha. Congress leader Karma Topden had represented the state in the House from 1988 to 1994.