Gangtok: Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) on Friday stormed to power for the record fifth consecutive term in the state, winning 22 seats in the 32-member state Assembly and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling romping home with a two-third majority.
Chamling, who retained his home seat Namchi-Singhithang defeating his nearest rival Milan Rai of SKM by a comfortable margin of 1,084 votes, is now on his way to break the record of late Communist patriarch Jyoti Basu who was longest serving Chief Minister of West Bengal for 23 years non-stop.
Chamling, who was in power for an uninterrupted 20 years, also contested from the Rangang-Yangang seat and won the seat by 3,142 votes.
There was no opposition in the last term of the state Assembly as SDF had won all the seats.
But this time, the opposition space would be occupied by Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), which broke away from the SDF and has won nine seats.
However, Prem Singh Tamang also known as Goley and who had founded the SKM last year, was defeated from the Namthang-Rateypani seat by 1,155 votes, but won from the Upper Burtuk seat by 573 votes.
The 32 member assembly had no opposition in the last term as SDF had all the seats.
This time however, there will be an opposition as the newly formed SKM has grabbed 9 seats.
"People have once again showed faith on us. We will continue with the development work," Chamling said.
In terms of vote percentage, SDF got 55 per cent votes while its nearest rival SKM got 40 per cent votes.
Altogether 121 contestants were in the fray. Congress was contesting all seats, while BJP was fighting from 13 seats and Trinamool Congress from seven. None of them, however, could open their account.