The voters of Arigaon ward, West Sikkim to cast vote for first time in 25 years. Since 1997, all the elections were uncontested, people did participate in the electoral process in the past Panchayat elections.
In 1997, Laxmi Prasad Sharma under the banner of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) won the election due to party elections, along with Raj Bahadur Bharti of Chongjong and Shiv Prasad Nepal participated as independent candidates. After this, the SDF party candidates were getting elected unopposed since 2002. Being a majority SDF party supporter, no one stood against the candidate announced by the party. In the year 2002, Khark Singh Subba, resident of Chongjong, Vishnu Maya Sharma of Arigaon in the year 2007 and Somnath Sharma have been unopposed ward panchayat for ten consecutive years from 2012 to 2022. In the year 2017, Arigaon and Chongjong wards were divided and made separate wards.
In the upcoming district and gram panchayat elections to be held on November 10, Somnath Sharma (who has been a panchayat for the last 10 years) and Lekhak Sharma from Arigaon ward have filled nomination for the first time. Talking about the candidate Lekhak Sharma, he has been working for social awareness after completing his formal post-graduation from Sikkim University. The 25-year-old young Lekhak has been raising his voice on various issues of the state. Sharma also took part in the Gangtok Chalo campaign of Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum raising demand for better health facility in the state, raising voice for daily minimum wages of daily wage laborers, demanding for renovation of the road from Gyalsing to Arigon, laxity in construction of Sanchman Limbu Government College and many others.
Likewise, 47-year-old Somnath Sharma with ten years of Panchayati experience is sits as a strong opponent. Somnath Sharma, who returned to Sikkim after working abroad, has done various development works in Arigaon during the 10 years of his tenure. Among his works, the permanent relocation of Arigaon Sanskrit Pathshala has been mentioned as the main.
The ward with 264 voters are all set to take part in panchayat elections.