Ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) candidate Dilli Ram Thapa on Saturday defeated BJP’s Suresh Khanal Sharma to win the Upper Burtuk assembly by-poll, garnering over 8,000 votes. According to the Election Commission, Thapa secured 8,406 votes to claim the Upper Burtuk seat while nearest rival, Sharma, could only garner 374 votes out of the total 9,427 polled on April 12.
The Congress’ Sumitra Rai got just 98 votes — two less than the NOTA, or none of the above. Five independent candidates got a cumulative 449 votes.
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The by-poll was necessitated following the disqualification of sitting MLA Prem Singh Tamang, accused of misappropriation of funds during his tenure as the state Animal Husbandry department Minister in 1996-97.
Tamang, a former SDF leader, is founder of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, the largest opposition in the 32-member state assembly.