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SDF sweeps Sikkim polls

Last updated on: May 16, 2009 23:28 IST
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Riding on a pro-incumbency wave, the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front on Saturday swept all 32 assembly and the lone Lok Sabha seats in Sikkim. SDF president Pawan Kumar Chamling led the charge of his party's run for a fourth consecutive term in office winning both his assembly constituencies -- Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi-Singithang -- in South Sikkim.


Ruling party candidate P D Rai too sailed through in the parliamentary polls vanquishing his Congress rival K N Upreti by a massive 84,868 votes. Senior SDF leader D N Takarpa, the speaker of the seventh legislative assembly, won from Rinchenpong (BL) assembly seat for a second term, while Menlom Lepcha (Martam-Rumtek-BL), R N Subba (Soreng-Chakung), C B Karki (Rangang-Yangang), K T N Gyaltsen (Shyari-BL), PS Tamang (Upper Burtuk) registered facile wins. All the four women candidates of the ruling party -Chandra Maya Subba (Maneybung-Dentam), Neeru Sewa (West Pendam-SC), Tulshi Devi Rai (Melli) and Tilu Gurung (Namthang-Rateypani) made it to the state legislature.


Neither the opposition's charge against Chamling for his autocratic style of function nor the dual nationality charge against him could impede the SDF's landslide victory.


Majority of SDF candidates won by over 1000 votes with only its nominee from the Sangha assembly seat, exclusively reserved for Buddhist monks, having a narrow margin of 65 votes.


Chamling himself won by an impressive margins of 5,956 votes from Poklok-Kamrang assembly constituency with over 70 per cent of the votes and inflicting a humiliating defeat on BJP nominee Padam Prasad Sharma, who secured only 167 votes.


It was Sharma who had first raked up the dual nationality charge against Chamling last year and recently filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court. The SDF president, who secured a record sixth term in the state legislature after being first elected from Damthang assembly constituency in 1985, also won handsomely from the adjoining Namchi-Singhithang assembly constituency by a margin of 5644 votes.

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