Gangtok, March 14: O.P Bhandari, the former legal advisor of chief minister Pawan Chamling, gave the Sikkim Democratic Front an ultimatum of 48 hours from this evening to withdraw the candidature of Bhim Dhungel from Rhenock Assembly constituency in East Sikkim.
Bhandari said he would resign from the SDF and contest as an Independent against Dhungel if the candidate was not recalled. “The people of Rhenock are not happy to see Dhungel again as the SDF candidate. They are dissatisfied with the ticket distribution. There are many senior leaders who should get a chance to contest. Dhungel won’t win the election,” Bhandari told a news conference here today.
Dhungel hails from South Sikkim and is one of the founding members of the SDF. He has got the ticket for the third consecutive term.
Barb at Bhutia
The SDF has denied Bhaichung Bhutia’s allegation of promising to back Trinamul hill functionaries financially if they contested against him.
“We never thought that Bhaichung, being from Sikkim, would level such allegations against us. We are too busy with our campaign and have no time to interfere in the politics of the hills. We feel Bhutia wants to regain his popularity by giving such statements,” SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal said today. “We also take back our best wishes, which we extended to him.”
Bhaichung had said yesterday: “SDF leaders are offering financial backing to TMC hill functionaries for contesting against me as Independents so that they can take away my votes.”
In Calcutta, Trinamul said today that former SDF MP, Nakul Das Rai, would be its candidate in Sikkim Lok Sabha seat.