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Last Update: Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024 18:44 [IST]

Krishna Kumari Rai Makes Historic Breakthrough in 11-Namchi Singithang Constituency


     The Legislative Assembly elections to elect the 32 members of the  11th  Sikkim Assembly and to elect the lone member of  18th Lok Sabha  was held simultaneously in Sikkim in April 19,2024.As the election results were declared in June 2, people in the Himalayan  state are in jubilant mood. The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, (SKM)  has  returned to  power for the  second consecutive term  by a landslide victory  winning 31 out of  32  assembly seats. On the  other hand, the Sikkim  Democratic  Front  (SDF) which ruled the  state  for 25 years in a  row till 2019,bagged just one seat from Shyari constituency  of  East  Sikkim. Interestingly, not only did SDF lose 31 of the 32 assembly seats it contested in the polls, but the former Chief Minister and SDF supremo, Pawan Kumar  Chamling who already had eight terms as an MLA, and  served five terms as a Chief Minister could not win either of the two seats, Namcheybung and Poklok-Kamrang, he fought. He lost in both the constituencies to the SKM’s candidates – Bhoj Raj Rai beat him by 3,063 votes in Poklok Kamrang while Raju Basnet defeated him by 2,256 votes in Namcheybung.

      Whereas, SKM has won almost all the 31 seats with heavy margins but the win in 11 Namchi- Singithang assembly constituency is outstanding. Located in the southern part of Sikkim, this general constituency was established in 2008 after the delimitation of constituencies in 2006. It has 12,689 voters as per 2019 elections data.

     Earlier, this constituency used to be the stronghold of the former Chief Minister, Chamling. He had been contesting and winning elections from this  constituency since 2009( from 1985 to 2004 Chamling  represented Damthang constituency) However, for the  first time in this Assembly elections, Chamling did not contest from his home constituency and instead chose to contest from Poklok- Kamrang and Namcheybong constituency.[1] The SDF planted Mr. Bimal Rai as a candidate from Namchi- Singithang constituency.   It is alleged that Chamling was apprehensive about his loss from this constituency as his strong contender was none other than Smt. Krishna  Kumari Rai, wife  of Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay), the SKM supremo  and Chief Minister of Sikkm. 

     In the election results, the SKM candidate, Smt.Krishna Kumari Rai, won the Namchi-Singhithang seat by defeating her nearest rival, Bimal Rai of SDF by a heavy margin of 5302 votes. Mrs. Rai secured 7907 votes, while her SDF opponent bagged 2605 votes. Mahesh Rai (CAP-S) and Aruna Manger (BJP) polled 136 and 233 votes respectively.

      Namchi-Singithang constituency holds a crucial role in the state's political landscape. Being the former Chief Minister, Chamling’s native constituency and he being the candidate since the constituency’s establishment, it has witnessed significant electoral battles over the years. In the 2019 Assembly elections, the constituency saw Pawan Kumar Chamling from SDF emerge victorious over the SKM candidate Ganesh Rai with a margin of 377 votes. In 2014, Chamling won the elections with a margin of 1,084 votes while Milan Rai of the SKM came second. In 2009, Chamling won with a huge margin of 4,644 votes.

      Namchi-Singhithang is one of the constituencies whose voters remained committed to their leader even when half of the population (around 41%) opted for change in 2014. Even in the 2019 Assembly elections, the voters did not disappoint their leader and supported the incumbent. It is one of the 15 Assembly seats won by the SDF in 2019. However, in 2019, the SKM party formed the government and the SDF party remained in the opposition.

      Soon after, the SDF suffered a massive desertion of 12 MLAs. Ten SDF legislators joined the BJP and two switched sides to the SKM, leaving Chamling as the lone party MLA in the assembly.Chamling however, boycotted the assembly sessions for most part of the term. Also, he became inaccessible to the people of his constituency.

     In absence of the leader, people in Namchi- Singithang constituency became oblivious and bewildered as to whom to approach in necessity. Smt. Krishna Kumari Rai who is known for her humility and compassion in the entire state and who is given the sobriquet of “The lady with a golden heart” by the people provided much needed support to this area. She had already been serving as a bridge between the government and the people of many disadvantaged area, she brought Namchi- Singithang area also into the fold.

     Because of her enthusiasm and dedication to address people’s problem, her contribution towards the area and her being a native of Namchi- Singithang constituency, she became the natural choice of the people as their representative. Her sensibility and responsiveness touched the hearts of many. In fact, her roaring victory from Namchi-Singithang constituency is the expression of reverence, admiration and hope of the people.

     Hence, with the winning of the election from Namchi – Singithang assembly constituency, Smt. Krishna Kumari Rai has created history with number of firsts. She is the first woman candidate of the constituency; the first to break the dominance of SDF in the constituency. (As a matter of fact, Chamling served as an MLA of Namchi area for almost 40 years.)[2]She is possibly the first candidate to win with thumping margin from Namchi-Singithang constituency.









[1] Chamling contested from Poklok-Kamrang Assembly constituency in 2009 and 2019 also but contested from Namcheybong constituency for the first time.

[2] Namchi was under 13, Damthang constituency before the delimitation of constituencies in 2006, and later placed in 11 Namchi –Singithang constituency.  Pawan Kumar Chamling represented Damthang Constituency from 1985 to 2004 and Namchi-Singithang Constituency from 2009 to 2019 In a way, Namchi had Chamling as a representative for almost 40 years.




Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi