Gangtok, May 24 (IANS) The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha won an absolute majority in the Sikkim Assembly polls, bringing the curtain down on two and half decades of Pawan Chamling led Sikkim Democractic Front rule in the Himalayan state.
After a very close battle, the SKM reached the magic figure of 17 in the 32-member House, with the SDF lagging behind with 14 seats. The result of the Tumen-Lingie constituency is awaited.
The SDF, with Chamling as the Chief Minister, had been in the saddle at a stretch from December, 1994.
Chamling, who contested from two seats, won from both, but with varied margins. The country’s longest serving Chief Minister took pole position in the Poklok Kamrang constitueny defeating his nearest SKM rival Kharka Bahadur Rai by 2,899 votes.
He also won from Namchi Singhithang seat with a slender 377-vote margin over SKM aspirant Ganesh Rai.
Aditya Golay, son of SKM chief P.S. Golay, got past SDF’s Sancha Raj Subba by 208 votes in the Soreng-Chakung seat.
Footballer-turned-politician Bhaichung Bhutia led Hamro Sikkim Party failed failed to make any impact.
Bhutia himself lost badly in Gangtok – forfeiting his security deposit, as he managed only 70 votes.
He was also lagging far behind in Tumen-Lingi, where he has so far bagged a mere 231 votes, around one per cent of the valid votes.
The BJP has also failed to open its account in the state.
In the state’s sole Lok Sabha constituency, SKM candidate Indra Hang Subba was ahead of SDF nominee Dek Bahadur Katwal by 11,985 votes.
Subba has secured 47.41 per cent of the votes counted so far, with Katwal getting about 43.89 per cent.
Laten Tshering Sherpa of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in the third position, managing less than five per cent of the popular mandate.
Congress candidate Bharat Basnett was in the fourth position with a mere 1 per cent of the valid votes.
SDF’s P.D. Rai had won the seat in 2014.