The Union Home Ministry may soon give the go ahead to increase the number of seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly from the current 32 to 40.

This was confirmed to Northeast Live by lone Lok Sabha MP from the state P.D. Rai. He said the Home Ministry has already initiated the process for the expansion. The expansion will be the first since the state merged with India in 1975.

The proposal to increase the seats has been made to accommodate people from the Limboo and Tamang communities, notified as scheduled tribes in Sikkim. Of the eight seats likely to be increased, five will be reserved for Limboo and Tamang communities.

Besides, of the total 40 seats, 12 will be reserved for Bhutia and Lepcha communities, 2 for the scheduled castes, one seat for the Sanghas and 20 general seats. The increase in the number of seats would mean the general seats will increase from the current 17 to 20.

The expansion of the House will clearly benefit the Limboo and Tamang communities — notified as Scheduled Tribes in 2002 — and is likely to have a massive bearing on the next Assembly elections in the state.