Timeline of Sikkim in India (1975 to present)

This timeline covers all relevant events in Sikkim on and after its merger into India in 1975. For the history of Kingdom of Sikkim before this, there will be a separate timeline.
(Current area of Sikkim 7,096 sq km - 2011 population 6,07,688)

Background of annexation

1950: Indo-Sikkim Treaty was signed between the Maharaja of Sikkim, Sir Tashi Namgyal, and a representative of the Indian Government. This treaty recognized Sikkim as a protectorate of India as Sikkim had autonomy in its internal affairs but its defence, external affairs and communication requirements were to be looked after by India.

1953: King (Chogyal) Palden Thondup Namgyal introduced democracy to his Kingdom of Sikkim with State Council of 18 members 12 of which were to be elected and 6 including the President were to be nominated by the King. In the first election of mid 1953, two parties "Sikkim National Party" and the "Sikkim State Congress" won 6 seats each.

1958: 2nd election of Kingdom of Sikkim "State Council". Among total 20 members 13 were elected, 7 from Sikkim State Congress and 6 from Sikkim National Party and 7 were appointed by the King.

1962 Oct 20-Nov 21: India-China war took place.

1962: Kazi Lhendup Dorji Khangsarpa founded "Sikkim National Congress" political party.

1966 Jan 24: Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister of India (until 1977 March 24).

1967 March: 3rd election Kingdom of Sikkim State Council. Out of total 24 seats 18 had to be elected. Lhendup Dorji's party Sikkim National congress won 8, Sikkim National Party won 5, Sikkim State Congress won 2.

1970 Apr: 4th election of Sikkim State Council. Sikkim National Party won 8, Sikkim State Congress won 4 and Sikkim National Congress won 3.

1971 Dec 16:  Pakistan Armed Forces surrendered on Bangladesh War of Independence with the help of India. Former East Pakistan became the new "Republic of Bangladesh".

1973: 5th election of Sikkim State Council. Independence supporter Sikkim National Party won 9 seats, whereas annexationist parties Lhendup Dorje's Sikkim National Congress won 5 and newly united Sikkim Janta Congress (Sikkim State Congress + Sikkim Janata Party) won 2 seats out of total elected 18.

1973 Apr: India sent B. S. Das as the Chief Executive in Sikkim (until Sep 1974)

1973 May 8: "Tripartite agreement" was signed between the King Namgyal, political parties and the government of India. The agreement provided for the establishment of a "responsible" government under the supervision of a "Chief Executive" nominated by the India.

1974 Apr 13: 6th election of State Council of independent "Kingdom of Sikkim" held. Sikkim National Congress led by Kazi Lhendup Dorji won overwhelming majority of 31 out of total 32 seats.

1974 June 28: Government of Sikkim Act was passed from Sikkim assembly.

1974 July 23: Following the "Tripartite agreement" 5-member Sikkim government was formed with Kazi Lhendup Dorjee as Prime Minister, other members were Rinzing Lepcha, BP Dahal, Dorji Thering & KC Pradhan.

Merger transition phase (1975-1979)

1975 April : Indian Army took over the city of Gangtok and disarmed about 300 King's palace guards. One Indian army one King's guard killed in the operation.

1975 Apr 14: Referendum on abolishing the monarchy in Sikkim was held under the control of Indian Army. 97.55% people supported the major.

1975 Apr 22: Government of India introduced the 36th Amendment to the Constitution making Sikkim the 22nd state of India with effect from April 26.

1975 May 16: Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union, and the monarchy was abolished.  Kazi Lhendup Dorjee appointed as the Chief minister of Sikkim. Indian Chief executive BB Lal became governor of Sikkim.

1977: Sikkim National Congress of Kaji Lhendup Dorjee merged with Indian National Congress.

1977 : Nar Bahadur Bhandari formed "Sikkim Janta Parishad" party.

1978 Aug 18: President rule imposed in Sikkim until Oct 18. (for 2 months)

Rule of Nar Bahadur Bhandari (SJP & SSP) (1979-1994)

1979: Sikkim Legislative Assembly election held. 244 candidates contested for total 32 seats. "Sikkim Janta Parishad" won 16 seats with 31.49% popular vote. Sikkim Congress (Revolutionary) got 11 seats and 20.58% popular vote. "Sikkim Prajatantra Congress" led by Pawan Kumar Chamling won 4 seats and 15.76% popular vote. Independent candidate won rest 1 seat.

1979 Oct 18: Nar Bahadur Bhandari from "Sikkim Janata Parishad" appointed as the Chief minister of Sikkim until 11 May 1984.

1981: ruling party "Sikkim Janta Parishad" merged with national party Indian National Congress.

1982 Jan 29: Last sovereign king of Sikkim Palden Thondup Namgyal died at the age of 58 because of cancer at New York City, USA.

1984 Jan: 13 rulling party MLAs including 4 ministers submitted a memorandum to the governor against Bhandari government on corruption charge and expressed their no confidence.

1984 May 11: Governor "Homi J. H. Taleyarkhan" dismissed Bhandari government. Bir Bahadur Gurung from INC (SJP had merged with INC) appointed as the Chief Minister of Sikkim (for 13 days). But the Gurung's government failed due to lack of support and instability.

1984 May : Nar Bahadur Bhandari left merged Congress-I and founded new party "Sikkim Sangram Parishad" which overwhelmingly won 1985 and 1989 elections with 30 and 32 seats respectively.

1984 May 25:  President's rule imposed until 1985 March 8. (for 9 months 13 days)

1985: Sikkim Legislative Assembly election held. 195 candidates contested for total 32 seats. "Sikkim Sangram Parishad" led by Ex CM Nar Bahadur Bhandari won majority 30 seats with 62.2% popular vote. National party INC got 24.15% popular vote and won 1 seat. Independent candidate won rest 1 seat. Pawan Chamling, future influential Sikkim leader, elected as the member of Sikkim legislative assembly for the first time from Sikkim Sangram Parishad.

1985 March 8: Nar Bahadur Bhandari from Sikkim Sangram Parishad appointed as the chief minister of Sikkim until 1994 June 17.

1989: Sikkim Legislative Assembly election held. 118 candidates contested for total 32 seats. Sikkim Sangram Parishad - SSP won all 32 seats with 70.41% popular vote. National party INC got 18.05% popular vote without winning any seats.

1989: Nar Bahadur Bhandari from SSP appointed as the Chief minister. Pawan chamling was the Minister for Industries, Information and Public Relations in this cabinet from 1989 to 1992 June 16.

1993 March 4: Pawan Kumar Chamling founded "Sikkim Democratic Front - SDF" quitting rulling Sikkim Sangram Parishad.

1994 June 17 : Sanchaman Limboo from Sikkim Sangram Parishad appointed as Chief Minister of Sikkim until 1994 Dec 12 (for 6 months).

1994 July 1 (early july): Nar BahadurBhandari and 15 of his supporters resigned from the Assembly. Pawan Chamling, the founder of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), also resigned soon after that. 32 membered Sikkim Legislative Assembly now only has 15 members including the speaker.

Rule of Pawan Kumar Chamling - SDF (1994-present)

1994 Nov: Sikkim Legislative Assembly election held. 186 candidates contested for total 32 seats. Sikkim Democratic Front led by Pawan K Chamling won majority 19 seats whereas ruling Sikkim Sangram Parishad won 10 seats. National party INC won 2 seats and independent candidate won 1 seat.

1994 Dec 12: Pawan Kumar Chamling from Sikkim Democratic Front appointed as the chief minister of Sikkim.

1999: Sikkim Legislative Assembly election held. Sikkim Democratic Front led by Pawan K Chamling won majority 24 seats whereas main opposition Sikkim Sangram Parishad won 7 seats. Independent candidate won 1 seat.

2002: Governemnt of India honored Ex Prime Minister of Kingdom of Sikkim & Ex Chief Minister of Sikkim State "Kazi Lhendup Dorjee" by Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, for his contribution to merge Sikkim into India.

2004 May 10: Sikkim Legislative Assembly election held. 91 candidate contested for total 32 seats. Sikkim Democratic Front led by Pawan K Chamling won overwhelming majority of 31 seats whereas national party INC led by Ex. Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari won 1 seat.

2007 July 28: Kazi Lhendup Dorjee, key feigure to merge Sikkim into India, died at the age of 102.

2009 Apr 30: Sikkim Legislative Assembly election held. Total 167 candidates contested for total 32 seats. Sikkim Democratic Front led by Pawan K Chamling won all 32 seats scoring 65.91% popular votes. National Party INC who had contested in all 32 seats got 27.64% popular votes without winning any seats.

2014 Apr 12: Sikkim Legislative Assembly election held. Total 121 candidates contested for total 32 seats. SDF won 22 seats scoring 55% popular votes whereas Sikkim Krantikari Morcha won 10 seats scoring 40.8%  popular votes. National Party INC who had contested in all 32 seats got 1.4% popular votes without winning any seats.

(This timeline is being developed. It will cover all relevant events.)

Legacy of Namgyal House
*12th and Last Soverign Chogyal (King) Palden T Namgyal born in May 23, 1923 Gangtok, Sikkim.
*His second wife was american lady Hope Cook (married 1963 March 20- divorced1980). As She had abandoned her american citizenship after the marriage, in May 1975, private bills had to be tabled in US Senate to restore her citizenship. President Gerald Ford signed the amended bill into law on June 16, 1976 which would grant her only U.S. permanent resident status at that time.
*Disposed King Palden died of cancer in January 29, 1982 (aged 58) in New York.
*Wangchuk Tenzing Namgyal, Son from first wife, is the current (13th) titular King of Sikkim.


2004 election data PDF

Encyclopaedia of North-East India: Sikkim edited by Hamlet Bareh



See Also:-

Timeline of Gorkhaland