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|October 6, 1999||
SDF gains absolute majority in Sikkim assembly polls
The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front tonight gained an absolute majority winning 17 seats in the 32-member assembly.
Party president and Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has not only retained 12 seats but also gained in five other seats to take its tally to 17. According to official sources, the party was also leading in six of the 10 remaining seats.
The main opposition Sikkim Sangram Parishad, led by former chief minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari, has managed to win only five seats so far.
The SDF had won 19 seats in the 1994 assembly election.
The party, which had won six seats in West Sikkim, has already retained four seats and regained two.
Most of its prominent leaders and ministers returned to the assembly, barring Health Minister Dr Dilli Prasad Kharel and SDF Finance Minister Ram Lepcha, who lost to the SSP nominee in the Pathing constituency of East Sikkim.
Chamling is expected to meet the state governor by tomorrow to stake his claim to form the next government.
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