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SDF returns to power in Sikkim

May 13, 2004 15:21 IST
Last Updated: May 14, 2004 00:24 IST

The Sikkim Democratic Front led by Pawan Kumar Chamling on Thursday returned to power in the Himalayan state for the third time in a row, winning all but one seat in the 32-member assembly.

The lone constituency it lost was Sangha, which went to Tshering Lama of the Congress.

The SDF also won the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state, where assembly and Lok Sabha elections were held simultaneously. The SDF's Nakul Das Rai defeated Biraj Adhikari of the Congress by 1,25,188 votes.

Former chief minister and Congress heavyweight Nar Bahadur Bhandari, seeking his seventh entry into the assembly, lost from both the Central Pendam and Gangtok seats.

In Central Pendam, he lost to Somnath Poudyal by 3,455 votes. From Gangtok, N K Pradhan of the SDF beat him by 3,143 votes.

After the landslide victory, Chief Minister Chamling, who won uncontested from Damthing constituency, said the party was leading the state in the right direction for the last decade.

Declaring that the people's mandate was the victory of the SDF's vision and ideology, Chamling said, "Now that we are voted back to power, our responsibilities increased… We will make Sikkim a model state now."

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