Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim Assembly election results on June 2

BJP has a head-start in Arunachal Pradesh with 10 of the 60 seats already in the kitty, while the contest in Sikkim is expected to be between the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha and the Sikkim Democratic Front

Updated - June 02, 2024 07:35 am IST

Published - June 01, 2024 08:25 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Voters wait in queues to cast their votes during the first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha election 2024, at a polling station in Arunachal Pradesh.

Voters wait in queues to cast their votes during the first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha election 2024, at a polling station in Arunachal Pradesh. | Photo Credit: ANI

The results of the elections to the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh and the 32-member Sikkim State Assemblies will be declared on June 2, two days ahead of the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls.

Live: Arunachal Assembly election results 2024 updates

The contest in Sikkim is likely to be a close one between the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) and the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), which received a shot in the arm after footballer Bhaichung Bhutia’s Hamro Sikkim Party merged with it in November 2023.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party enjoys an edge in Arunachal Pradesh, with 10 seats already in the kitty. Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, and eight others won their respective seats uncontested to maintain a “tradition” since 2014, when 11 Congress candidates had a similar victory.

Live: Sikkim Assembly election results 2024 updates

Confident BJP

“We will win most of the remaining 50 seats comfortably,” Mr. Khandu said ahead of counting day. His confidence stemmed from the inability of most parties to put up candidates against the BJP.

The National People’s Party (NPP), otherwise a constituent of the BJP-helmed National Democratic Alliance, contested 20 seats, the highest after the BJP. The Congress, battling for survival in the State for almost a decade now, contested 19 seats, followed by the Nationalist Congress Party with 14, the regional People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) with 11, the newly-floated Arunachal Democratic Party with four, and the Lok Janshakti Party with one.

The NPP, headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, decided not to contest the two Lok Sabha seats in Arunachal Pradesh and the BJP returned the favour by refraining from contesting the two Lok Sabha seats in Meghalaya. The two parties, however, did not have any alliance for the Assembly polls, which is not unusual for allies in the northeast.

The BJP won 41 seats in the 2019 Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh. The Janata Dal (United) bagged seven, the NPP five, Congress four, and the PPA one, while two Independents also won. All except one Congress MLA – former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, who is the prime challenger of Union Minister Kiren Rijiju in the Arunachal West parliamentary seat – joined the BJP.

Close contest

The Sikkim Assembly election is expected to be as close as the 2019 edition, in which the Prem Singh Tamang-led SKM won 17 seats to dislodge Pawan Kumar Chamling’s SDF government.

While the SKM’s strength in the Assembly swelled to 19, Mr. Chamling was the only SDF legislator left by December 2019, with 10 of his MLAs joining the BJP. Candidates of the BJP later won two bypolls, taking the party’s tally to 12.

The BJP had supported the SDF without being a part of the government, but the two parties severed their alliance ahead of the polls.

Defining the Sikkimese

The SDF is banking on the issues of large-scale corruption and an alleged bid by the BJP and SKM to dilute the special status of Sikkim by expanding the definition of ‘Sikkimese’ people beyond the indigenous Lepcha, Bhutia, and Nepali people in the new Finance Act of 2023.

Asserting that the expansion of the definition of ‘Sikkimese’ was only for the purposes of income tax exemption for other Indians who settled in Sikkim before it was merged with India in 1975, Mr. Tamang claimed that his party would win 26 of the 32 seats.

The BJP, led by D.R. Thapa, is also confident of winning a sizeable number of the 31 seats it contested in Sikkim. Observers say that the Citizen Action Party, a new crowdfunded party contesting 30 seats, could be a dark horse.

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