Election Trivia – Why no election was held in Sikkim before 1977?

Posted on March 25,2013


Elections were held in Sikkim for the first time in 1977 when the country voted to elect the Sixth Lok Sabha after the Emergency. This was because till 1975, Sikkim was not part of Indian Union. Sikkim was a British protectorate state till 1947. After India's independence in 1947, a plebiscite was held in Sikkim and the state opted to stay out of Indian Union. However, India agreed to a protectorate status to Sikkim, controlling the state's external affairs, defense and communication. The state had administrative autonomy and was a monarchy.

In 1975 due to riots and other internal unrest, the Prime Minister of Sikkim requested Indian Parliament to intervene. A referendum was held in which 97.5% voters supported abolition of monarchy and merger with India. On 16th May 1975, just a month before Emergency was declared, Sikkim became India's part. In the Lok Sabha elections held in 1977, Congress was the only party to field a candidate and was hence elected unopposed. However, in the state's first assembly elections held in 1979, Congress could get only 2% votes.