counting centre at Gangtok ignited and within no time political parties organized demonstrations against the Government. Police force was used to control theagitation, which added fuel to fire. Sikkim National Congress and Sikkim State
Congress demanded countermanding of the election and ordering a fresh poll. The
Durbar adopted its old dual policy of repression and causing dissension in its
political rivals. But this time it did not work. Demonstrators began to attack and
take over the police stations in the interior. The two political parties decided to
boycott and disturb ruler’s birthday celebration on April 4, 1974 in spite of
appeals made on the contrary. The situation was grim and a pitched battle was
fought between the demonstrators and the police. . The palace went ahead with the birthday celebrations, which angered the masses even more.
The administration collapsed and the Chogyal was forced to request the Political
Officer to take over the administration, as his father had done 24 years back. The
Political Officer took over the administration for time being, but the political
stalemate continued. The Government of India encouraged the Durbar and
political leaders to negotiate an agreement and establish normalcy in the State, but
stands on both sides were hardening. At last, a tripartite agreement between the
ruler, political leaders and India was reached on May 8, 1973.

Unlike in 1949, the Government of India had decided to discard the unsolicited
colonial advice this time and took a clear stand on democratic principles. The
famous tripartite agreement envisaged the Chogyal to be a constitutional head,
establishment of a responsible government with democratic rights, rule of law,
fundamental rights, independent judiciary, adult franchise and executive and
legislative powers to the people’s representatives. Article 5 of the Agreement
envisages: “The system of election shall be so organized as to make the (State)
Assembly adequately representative of the various sections of the population. The
size and the composition of the Assembly and of the Executive Council shall be
such as may be prescribed from time to time, care being taken to ensure that no
single section of the population acquires a dominating position due mainly to its
ethnic origin, and that the rights and interests of the Sikkimese Bhotia- Lepcha
origin and of Sikkimese Nepali, which includes Tsongs and scheduled castes
origin, are fully protected”.

According to the provisions of the Agreement, a State Legislative Assembly of 32
members (Lepcha- Bhotia 15 + one seat to the monks + Nepalese 15 + one seat
to the Scheduled Castes among the Nepalese untouchables), a Chief Minister,
and a Council of Ministers responsible to the Assembly to be elected on
universal adult franchise was envisaged. With a view to carrying out special
provisions of the Indo-Sikkimese Treaty, an Office of the Chief Executive to be
manned by an Indian functionary was created between the two and a deference of
opinion between him the ruler was to be referred to the Political Officer at
Gangtok, whose opinion would be binding. The political atmosphere in Sikkim
surcharged with and in such excitements, election to the State Assembly were
held in April, 1974. With exception of one Lepcha- Bhotia seat to a nominee of
Sikkim National Party, the remaining 31 seats were captured by the newly formed
Sikkim Congress. Lhendup Dorji Kazi, the leader of Sikkim Congress Legislature
Party, was sworn as the first duly elected Chief Minster of Sikkim. These and
other developments were seen as evidence of dilution of “Sikkim’s International
Status” by the Ruler, which may be seen as a conflict between the head of the
state and his people.

The State Assembly met in an emergency season and passed this resolution: “ The
institution of Chogyal (the head of the state) is hereby abolished and Sikkim shall
hence forth be a constituent unit of India”. While the ruler went on asking for
right of self determination to Sikkim, this Resolution of the Assembly was put to

the electorate and 97 percent favoured it. This led to the Indian Parliament

passing the 38th Constitutional Amendment Bill on April 26, 1975. Thus, Sikkim
ceased to exist as an Indian protectorate and became the 22nd state of the Indian
Union. Accordingly, the office of the Chogyal stood abolished and provisions of
the Indo-Sikkimese Treaty, Tripartite Agreement and the Government of India
ACT, 1974 were made inoperative. Lhendup Dorji Kazi (LD Kazi), the Chief
Minster, emerged as the central figure after these epoch making developments.
His style of functioning was that of an old -world patriarch, addicted to advice
from all corners, but too old to learn anything afresh.