Sikkim Democratic Front set to sweep back to power

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Gangtok: The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) led by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling seemed to set to return to power for the fourth time in Sikkim as counting of votes cast for elections to the 32 assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat was underway on Saturday.

Counting began at 8 a.m. for 12 Assembly constituencies in the Sikkim East district, three constituencies in North Sikkim, nine constituencies in Sikkim West and nine constituencies in Sikkim South.

By 11 a.m., 10 Assembly results were declared - all in favour of the SDF. The party candidate P.D. Rai also bagged the state's lone Lok Sabha seat, defeating K.N. Upreti of the Congress by a margin of over 3,000 votes.

The Chief Minister, who contested the Assembly polls from Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi-Singhithang, won both the seats of South Sikkim with a margin of over 2,000 votes.

SDF candidate Aam Prasad Sharma defeated Congress state unit president N.B. Bhandari by a margin of 1,000 votes to wrest the the Singtam-Khamdong Assembly seat in East Sikkim.

In the same district, the West Pendam constituency was won by the SDF's Neeru Sewa, who defeated Congress candidate Jagdish Cintury by over 1,000 votes. The Rhenock and Chujachen seats were wrested by the SDF's Bhim Dungel and Puran Gurung respectively.

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