Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) supporters celebrate after party's victory in the Sikkim Assembly elections, in Gangtok, Sunday, June 2, 2024.
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) supporters celebrate after party's victory in the Sikkim Assembly elections, in Gangtok, Sunday, June 2, 2024.

SKM storms back to power in Sikkim, wins 31 seats in 32-member assembly

The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) on Sunday returned to power by sweeping the assembly polls in the Himalayan state, winning 31 of the 32 seats, according to the Election Commission.

Gangtok | Led by its president and Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) on Sunday returned to power in the Himalayan state for the second consecutive term by a landslide victory, winning 31 seats in the 32-member assembly.

The opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), which ruled the state for 25 years in a row till 2019, could manage only one seat, while its president and former CM Pawan Kumar Chamling, who is Tamang’s mentor-turned-adversary, lost in the two seats he contested.

The 73-year-old eight-term legislator will not be seen in the assembly for the first time since 1985.

Tamang, however, won from two seats, and his party bagged 58.38 per cent of the votes polled. The SKM had won 17 seats in the 2019 assembly polls.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Tamang and the SKM for the victory.

“Congratulations to SKM and CM @PSTamangGolay for their victory in the Sikkim Assembly Elections 2024. I look forward to working with the State Government to further the progress of Sikkim in the coming times,” Modi said in a post on X.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s post, Tamang thanked him.

“We are committed to continuing our efforts towards the development and prosperity of Sikkim. We look forward to collaborating with you to achieve our shared goals for the betterment of our state.

“Your unwavering support has been a driving force for us, and we look forward to your continued guidance and blessings,” Tamang said in an X..

Modi also thanked all who voted for the BJP in the Sikkim assembly elections. The saffron party contested in 31 seats but failed to win any of them. The party bagged 5.18 per cent of the total votes polled.

Sikkim BJP president Dilli Ram Thapa, a sitting MLA, also lost to SKM nominee Kala Rai in the Upper Burtuk constituency by a margin of 2,968 votes.

“I also appreciate the efforts put in by our Karyakartas. Our Party will always be at the forefront of working towards Sikkim’s development and fulfilling people’s aspirations,” Modi said in a post.

After the landslide win, Tamang congratulated the party workers and the voters of Sikkim.

"It is because of the love and trust of the people which we have managed to secure in the past five years in government. Besides, party cadres worked very hard. Now we have the next five years to give our 100 per cent for the people of Sikkim," he said at a gathering in Paljor Stadium in Gangtok.

Tamang won by over 7,000 votes in both Rhenock and Soreng-Chakung constituencies.

"I also want to thank the opposition as it is because of them that our party became stronger and more organised," said the president of the SKM which had won 17 seats in 2019.

He claimed the SKM stood as a beacon of hope, lighting the way for a new dawn leading to golden and prosperous future.

"This win is not just ours; it belongs to the youth, students, and every Sikkimese who dreams of a bright future for our children and a prosperous, inclusive society," he said.

Like the BJP, the Congress also failed to open its account and secured a paltry vote share of 0.32 per cent which is even less than that of NOTA (0.99 per cent).

Tamang asked the party workers to maintain calm in the aftermath of the landslide victory.

Tamang’s wife Krishna Kumari Rai won from Namchi-Singhthang by defeating SDF's Bimal Rai by a margin of 5302 votes.

Of the nine ministers of the Tamang government, all but Lunga Nima Lepcha won.

The Speaker Arun Kumar Upreti won from Arithang constituency by 2729 votes against the SDF's Ashish Rai.

Legendary footballer and the SDF vice-president Bhaichung Bhutia lost from Barfung constituency against the SKM candidate Rikshal Sirjee Bhutia by a margin of 4348 votes.

Party supporters who gathered in large number near counting centres celebrated the victory by bursting firecrackers.

Elections to the assembly were held simultaneously with the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls on April 19.

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