SS Ahluwalia bags huge win in Darj

The Statesman
17 May 2014

The Lok Sabha election results for the Darjeeling constituency came a shocker for many, who had thought that even if BJP candidate SS Ahluwalia wins, he would not be able to secure a massive lead margin.
With 491202 votes in his kitty, Mr Ahluwalia, the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha-backed candidate in the constituency, secured a thumping victory over his main rival Bhaichung Bhutia of the Trinamul Congress who managed 291371 votes. The victory margin was 199829 votes.
GJMM supporters in Darjeeling started to rejoice as Mr Ahluwalia took a big lead soon after vote counting for the three hill segments of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong began at the Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan here.
While the BJP made good results in the Hill assembly segments, the unfolding of the results in the four segments in the plains — Siliguri, Phansidewa, Matigara/Naxalbari and Chopra — was more interesting as the party led in the count even there.
In the final tally, Mr Ahluwalia emerged on top in all the six segments, while Mr Bhutia remained on top in Chopra.
The final tally also showed that Trinamul Congress candidate remained in the second position, followed by the CPI-M, the Congress and independent candidate Mahendra P Lama.
Interestingly, a total of 18030 voters had pressed the NOTA (none of the above) button while they voted on 17 April.
“I want to work on things I have promised before the polls,” the victorious Mr Ahluwalia, the BJP vice-president, said.
“My responsibility is not only for the people who have voted for me but also for the people who have not. It will be my duty to promote both the hills and the plains,” he added.
GJMM president Bimal Gurung said: “It was our sure win. I had already said we would win by 1.5 lakh votes, but the margin was more.”
Congratulating Mr Ahluwalia, Independent candidate Mr Lama said he had expected more votes than what he got (55767). “But after all it is the people’s verdict and I heartily accept it. We will continue to work for the welfare of the people and will not be a mute spectator if the new MP diverts his mind,” he said.
Mr Bhutia could not be reached for comment, despite several efforts, and despite the fact that he had visited the counting premises in Darjeeling early this morning.
A Hill TMC member, NB Khawas said, “This is not the end. We will continue our work for the development of the Hills.”
According to figures available, Mr Ahluwalia bagged 1,98847 in the four Assembly segments in the plains, while Mr Bhutia got 1,99498. CPI-M candidate Saman Pathak got 161523, Congress candidate Sujay Ghatak got 83508 and Independent candidate Mahendra P Lama managed to get 6785 from these segments.

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