Pawan Chamling is all set to become CM for the fifth time in a row; SDF party led by him sweeps the assembly polls, winning 22 of the 32 seats. Anurag Kashyap reports.
With the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front winning the assembly elections for the fifth time in a row in the tiny state of Sikkim, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is set to break the record of the longest serving chief minister in the country.
Chamling became the chief minister of the state on December 12, 1994 and has continued to rule the state for 20 years now. He is set to become the only leader of the country to celebrate silver jubilee as chief minister, breaking the record of late Communist leader Jyoti Basu, who remained chief minister of West Bengal for 23 consecutive years -- from June 21, 1977 to November 5, 2000.
The SDF led by Chamling won the assembly election, which was carried out consecutively with the Lok Sabha election, by securing 22 of the 32-seat assembly. The party got majority 55% vote share in multi-corned contest in the state. Chamling, who contested the assembly polls from Rangang-yangang and Namchi-singhithang, won with a huge margin.
The SDF also won the lone Lok Sabha seat when its candidate P D Rai defeated main rival Tek Nath Dhakal with approximately 42,000 votes.
Chamling was elected to the Sikkim legislative assembly for the first time in 1985. He formed the SDF on March 4, 1993 and swept the polls in the 1994 assembly elections. Since then it has been a dream run for Chamling and his party in the state, which is now a global brand in ecotourism.
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has set a target to make Sikkim poverty-free by 2017 and at present, it has the lowest percentage of people below the poverty line in the country.