People of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim voted overwhelmingly on Monday (14 April) to abolish their monarchy and merge with neighbouring India.
GV People seated on ??? waiting to vote (2 shots)
CU People having papers checked
GV People waiting to vote
CU People voting in town (5 shots)
GV Chogyal and son speaking to newsmen (4 shots)
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Background: People of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim voted overwhelmingly on Monday (14 April) to abolish their monarchy and merge with neighbouring India.
The referendum on the two issues was put to the people by the National Assembly, which is dominated by the Sikkim Congress Party of Chief Minister Kazi Lhendup Dorji.
The Indian Parliament will now have to approve both issues to make them legally effective.
The Indian News Agency says that nearly 60,000 people voted for the proposals and 1,500 against. About 70 percent of the 95,000 registered voters turned out for the poll.
Foreign newsmen were refused permission to observe the referendum by the Kazi, who is in conflict with the Chogyal, or Monarch, Palden Thondup Namgyal.
China and Pakistan have maintained that India is forcibly annexing the state.
The Chogyal says the referendum was illegal and has complained that he has been under house arrest since the disarming of his palace guards by Indian troops after a gun battle last Wednesday (9 April).
The Indians countered the Chogyal's claims by asking how he was able to make his statement to newsmen if he was under house arrest.