GANGTOK, Oct 24 - The BJP-SKM combine today swept the bypolls held for three seats in Sikkim. The saffron party registered its first-ever electoral victory in the State by winning two seats � Gangtok and Martam Rumtek.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang won the bypoll to the Poklok Kamrang Assembly seat by a margin of 8,953 votes. Tamang, founder of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), secured 10,811 votes, while his nearest rival, Moses Rai of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), got 1,858 votes. Yadhu Kumar Rai of the Sikkim Republican Party (SRP) came third with 125 votes, while 76 voters pressed the NOTA button.
In Martam Rumtek, Sonam Tshering Venchungpa of the BJP got 8,204 votes compared to 2,033 votes by his nearest rival, Nuk Tshering Bhutia of the SDF. Similarly, BJP candidate for Gangtok, YT Lepcha secured 2,508 votes, whereas his nearest rival, Delay Namgyal Barfungpa of the Sikkim National People�s Party, garnered 1,498 votes.
Former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who contested from the Gangtok seat on a Hamro Sikkim Party ticket, got 579 votes.
The Chief Minister thanked the people of Poklok Kamrang for reposing faith in the SKM. He said that even after supporting the SDF for 25 years, the constituency lacked development. �Now you won�t have to come to the Government. The Government will come to you,� he said.
SDF supremo and former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling conceded defeat and congratulated the winners. He maintained that the percentage of votes polled by the SDF candidates showed that the party still enjoys support of a sizeable number of voters and would continue to play the role of the Opposition sincerely.
BJP State president DB Chauhan congratulated the people on voting for �nationalism and integration�. He hoped that the first-ever win for the party in Sikkim would cement the SKM-BJP alliance and fulfil the demands of the State by the Centre.