Sikkim’s incumbent Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and his Sikkim Democratic Front lost to the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha on Thursday. Chamling has been chief minister since 1994 and lost by two seats. The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha is led by Prem Singh Tamang, popularly known as PS Golay.
Assembly elections were held concurrently with the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls on April 11.
Chamling’s party won 15 of the state’s 32 Assembly seats, some by very narrow margins. The Krantikari Morcha won 17 seats, and the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state. Chamling was the longest running chief minister since Independence, having won the Assembly elections in 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. In 2009, the Sikkim Democratic Front had won all 32 Assembly seats.
Chamling’s party accepted the verdict on Thursday and congratulated the Krantikari Morcha. “We thank the people of Sikkim for giving us a long rope to serve them,” party spokesperson KT Gyaltsen said. “We did our best to take our state on the path of development and prosperity under the leadership of Pawan Kumad Chamling.”
The incumbent Pawan Kumar Chamling government had won 22 seats in the 2014 Assembly elections. Chamling is the leader of the Sikkim Democratic Front, which is part of the National Democratic Front. On Wednesday, Chamling met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other NDA leaders, the Sikkim Express reported.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had attempted to make inroads into the state legislature. On March 14, it forged an alliance with the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha. However, the alliance fell apart, reportedly due to disagreement over seat sharing.
Both the Sikkim Democratic Front and the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha contested all 32 Assembly seats.
The Congress and the Hamro Sikkim Party led by former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia were the two other parties in the fray for the Assembly polls.