The Namgyal dynasty ruled in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim for 347 years, but on Monday (14 April) the people of Sikkim voted in a snap referendum to abolish their monarchy and seek full union with India.
GV Palace in Gangtok
GV Ballot papers being emptied
CU ZOOM OUT TO GV Chief collection Commissioner watches as votes are counted (4 shots)
GV Chief Collection Commissioner ZOOM TO CU Balloon papers
GV President's House, New Delhi
CU Kazi PAN TO Ahmed
GV Parliament House
SV Kazi and party talks to Mrs. Ghandi (2 shots)
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Background: The Namgyal dynasty ruled in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim for 347 years, but on Monday (14 April) the people of Sikkim voted in a snap referendum to abolish their monarchy and seek full union with India.
Of a total electorate of 98,000 people, well over 60,000 exercised their franchise. But it emerged in the counting process that the bulk of the voting had taken place in areas largely inhabited by Sikkimese of Nepalese origin.
The 12th Chogyal (ruler) of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namoyal, had functioned as a titular head of the protectorate of Sikkim after being stripped of his hereditary powers last year.
On Tuesday (15 April) the Press Trust of Indian reported that the Chogyal said that Indian troops had kept him under house arrest at his palace for about a week. This was the first world from the 52-year-old Chogyal since his 400-strong guard was disarmed by Indian troops after a gun battle last week.
Indian is estimated to have about 100,000 troops in Sikkim, which barriers on Chinese-held Tibet and has a traditional Tibetan culture.
??? the results of the referendum were announced, Sikkim's Chief Minister and a personal enemy of the Chogyal, Kazi Lendhup Dorje, flew to New Delhi on Wednesday (16 April) for talks with Prime Minister Indira Ghandi and other Indian leaders.
This Kazi said that he had come to India on an urgent mission to convey to the President and Prime Minister the verdict of the Sikkimese people in the special poll.
India, who has backed the Kazi in his confrontation with the Chogyal since 1973 and wishes to maintain control of Sikki, is expected to proceed to absorb the kingdom -- although changes to India's constitution will be needed.