SDF announces final 14, DT Lepcha to contest from 2 constituencies

GANGTOK, 22 Mar:

Sikkim Democratic Front released its final list of 14 candidates for the upcoming Assembly and Parliamentary elections in the State on Friday.

Sitting Minister, DT Lepcha, who had already got the party ticket from Gnathang-Machong constituency, is also contesting the election from Martam-Rumtek constituency and another sitting Minister, TsheringWangdi Lepcha is contesting from Lachen-Mangan constituency.

Likewise, sitting MLAs in the final list to contest the election are Gopal Baraily from West Pendam, Hemendra Adhikari from Rhenock, Shyam Pradhan from Arithang, DR Thapa from Upper Burtuk and Ugen Nedup Bhutia from Kabi-Lungchok. Tshering Lama is contesting the election from Sangha seat.

New faces this time are DB Subba from Yangthang, Sancha Raj Subba from Soreng-Chakung, Tashi Thendup Bhutia from Barfung, GM Gurung from Khamdong-Singtam, KB Rai from Chujachen, Karma Ongdi Bhutia from Shyari and DB Katwal for the Lok Sabha seat.

In a press conference here this evening, SDF Spokesperson, PD Rai officially announced names of SDF candidates in the final list unanimously approved by the parliamentary committee of the party. He informed that the party has given tickets to 18 new faces including Lok Sabha and four women candidates. He further added that the party has also fulfilled its promise to give five candidates from Limboo and Tamang communities. He informed that the party has three Limboo candidates and two Tamang candidates.

Responding to media queries on sitting Minister DT Lepcha contesting from two seats, SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal stated that it was a strategic decision of the party.

“DT Lepcha was an effective and popular MLA and Minister from Sang-Martam constituency. On the demand of the people of the area and even aspirants, the party decided tofield him from Martam-Rumtek,” he said.

On the disappointment shown by supporters of few aspirants who did not get party tickets, SDF spokesperson, KT Gyaltsen mentioned that many aspirants come out in every election from every constituency.

Such situations arise in every election when the focus is on the individual instead of the party, he said further adding that the situation will become normal soon.

On the same, he asserted the need to focus on the party and thoughts of the party leader.

“The party president has repeatedly appealed to party workers to work according to the party’s principles. The high command gave the responsibility to the parliamentary committee to select candidates considering all factors,” said Mr Dahal.

Party supporters will understand the process soon and will campaign for candidates given by the party, he added.

The party supporters from Arithang and Shyariwho were unhappy with the candidates announced for their respective constituencies expressed their displeasure at the party head office on Bye Pass Road. They raised slogans demanding the candidates of their choice and also damaged some property of the party office.

Supporters of GMC Chairperson, AshishRai, for Arithang constituency and Tenzing Lamtha for Shyari constituency were protesting outside the SDF head office today.