Sikkim Lok Sabha Elections Results 2019: SKM's Subba Inches Towards Lok Sabha Seat, Set to Beat SDF for the First Time
In the battle for Sikkim's sole, unreserved seat at the Lok Sabha, SKM is gunning to take over the post that has been held by SDF's representative for over two decades.
Indra Hang Subba and the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) are leading the race for capturing the sole Lok Sabha seat assigned to Sikkim. After trailing the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF)'s Dek Bahadur Katwal by nearly 4,000 votes halfway through counting, Subba's present tally at the time of publishing stands at 1,16,470 votes, as per data sourced from the Election Commission of India. This gives him a lead of nearly 9,500 votes over Katwal, with 72.5 percent of all the votes already counted.
Despite having led the tally for much of the day in both the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections, the dominant SDF presently finds itself in a difficult situation. P.S Golay-led SKM has won its highest ever tally already by capturing 12 out of the 26 declared seats. With six more seats yet to be declared, the victory will likely fall to SDF, which needs three more seats to seal its victory in the state assembly, in comparison to the five required by SKM. Nevertheless, it shows a sign of intent from the state that has long been ruled by SDF.
Bhaichung Bhutia-led Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) has failed to make much of an impact in both the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. BJP candidate Laten Tshering Sherpa ranks a distant third in the Lok Sabha elections with just over 12,000 votes. With just less than 1,00,000 votes to be counted and Subba's lead standing at nearly 10,000, the SKM looks well set to take over the Lok Sabha seat from SDF, for the first time since 1996.
The land-locked state saw voting for the solitary Lok Sabha seat happen on April 11, during the first phase of the 2019 elections. Interestingly, it took place on the same day as Sikkim's Legislative Assembly elections, which comprise 32 seats. SDF has been the ruling party in Sikkim for 25 years, with Chief Minister and SDF's founder-president Pawan Kumar Chamling holding the state's ruling seat for an equal span of time. The Sikkim constituency in Lok Sabha has also been represented by SDF since 1996, with Member of Parliament Prem Das Rai representing Sikkim for two straight terms, since 2009.
Apart from 1977 (the first year when Sikkim participated in the Lok Sabha elections), it has uniformly voted for a representative from a regional party. The only exception to this was in 1984, when independent candidate Nar Bahadur Bhandari defeated erstwhile MP and Sikkim Janata Parishad candidate Pahal Man Subba, to claim the Lok Sabha seat. According to data released by the Sikkim election office, the electorate comprised 4,32,306 eligible voters during the polling on April 11. It ranked towards the higher end of voter turnout, recording 78.19 percent voter turnout.
A total of 11 nominees have contested for the lone, unreserved Lok Sabha seat allotted to Sikkim, of which three are independent candidates. Since contesting for the first time in 1977, only one independent candidate has ever won the Sikkim Lok Sabha seat.
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