BJP registers first victory in Sikkim, wins two seats

Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang. PTI file photo

The BJP secured its first victory in Sikkim on Thursday, by winning two seats in the Assembly bypolls. Its ally, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), won the third seat. Three Assembly constituencies went to polls on Monday.

While BJP candidate Yong Tshering Lepcha won from the Gangtok Assembly seat, his party colleague TSH Venchungpa emerged victorious from the Martam Rumtek Assembly seat.

Another BJP candidate, Sonam TSH Venchungpa, trounced his nearest rival Nuk Tshering Bhutia of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) by a margin of 6,150 votes.

The Chief Minister of Siikim and SKM supremo Prem Singh Tamang, also known as PS Golay won from the Poklok Kamrang Assembly constituency. He defeated his nearest rival Moses Rai from SDF by a margin of 8,953 votes.

Electoral setbacks continued for former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia. Contesting on a ticket of his Hamro Sikkim Party, Bhutia only got 579 votes from Gangtok.

With these results, SKM has got 19 MLAs in the 32-member Sikkim Assembly seat and BJP has 12 MLAs. Even as BJP registered its first electoral victory in Sikkim, 10 SDF MLAs switched to the saffron party.

SDF, which once ruled the state for more than two decades is now left with only one MLA, former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling.

The bypolls to the Poklong Kamrang seat took place as it was vacated by Chamling after winning two seats in the last Assembly elections. Chamling retained the Namchi Singhithang Assembly seat.

The bypoll results also come as a major relief for Chief Minister Golay, who was sworn in earlier despite not being an MLA.

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