Gangtok, April 11 : Over 23 per cent votes were cast in the first four hours of polling in Sikkim on Thursday, in simultaneous elections for a new 32-member state Legislative Assembly and to pick its only Lok Sabha member.

"Around 23.5 per cent polling has been reported overall," sources in the state Chief Electoral Officer's office said. "There are no reports of any disturbance," the sources said.

Voting began at 7 a.m. and will end at 5 p.m. A total of 423,325 voters are exercising their franchise in 567 polling stations. They will choose their representatives from among 150 candidates for the state Assembly and 11 for the lone Lok Sabha seat.

The state is largely witnessing a three-way fight between Chief Minister Pawan Chamling's Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), former SDF Minister P.S. Golay-led the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), and footballer Bhaichung Bhutia's Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP).

Chamling, who has been the Chief Minister since 1994, is contesting from Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi Singhithang seats, while Bhutia is in the fray from Gangtok and Tumen Lingi seats.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress are also in the fray in Sikkim, that borders Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.

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