Kalimpong, Aug. 2: Sanchabir Subba, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha rebel candidate from Gitdabling-Nimbong, lost to the party’s official contestant Kalyan Dewan by 677 votes today.
Subba got 3,418 votes against Dewan’s 4,095.
“I still consider today’s verdict to be the Morcha’s loss. It is actually the victory of the people who voted for me. There were a number of false votes in my constituency,” said Subba, the only Morcha rebel in the elections.
The rebel candidate, who hails from Barbot village in Nimbong, was on his way to Kalimpong this morning but returned midway after he heard about the result.
He later told The Telegraph over phone that had the Morcha not taken recourse to “money power and threats,” he would have emerged victorious.
Subba, who was the president of the Parbintar-Nimbong unit of the Morcha till early last month, thanked everyone who supported him and congratulated Dewan, whom he addressed as “Kalyan Sir.”
Gitdabling-Nimbong is a remote rural constituency spread across two blocks in Kalimpong subdivision.
An analysis of the voting pattern revealed that while the Morcha held sway over Gitdabling area, Subba got many votes in Nimbong. Counting in the 18 polling booths in the constituency, has shown that Dewan and Subba had a close contest, sources said.
Dewan, who is a vice-president of the Morcha, said: “We will not discriminate. It is not in our party to victimise anyone. There will be no partiality in carrying out development work in my constituency.”
The mild-mannered Morcha candidate is the head of the commerce department in Kalimpong College and was visibly happy with the poll results.
Morcha supporters who had gathered in large numbers below the primary section of the Scottish Universities’ Mission Institution (SUMI), the counting centre in the subdivision, broke into a dance and burst fire crackers when the final results were announced over a public address system.
Twisting the lyrics of a popular Nepali song “asarey maina-ma”, the women Morcha supporters sang: “bichara Sanchabir ke gardei hola (What is poor Sanchabir probably doing),” as the others in the crowd danced along.
The mood of the gathering was, however, different earlier in the day when it was announced that Subba was leading after the first round of counting.
It is only after the results in the second round of counting were announced, that people started congratulating each other and the celebrations started.
Trinamul Congress candidate Bruno Lepcha secured 264 votes in the constituency.
Trinamul had fielded candidates in nine of the 13 GTA seats in Kalimpong subdivision. Later the party withdrew from the fray.