Gorkhatimes

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Bhandari hints quitting active politics “I have already written my resignation letter”

Posted by Ramesh Khati on June 19, 2009

GANGTOK, June 18: After being thoroughly routed in the recent Assembly elections, former Chief Minister and present Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) president Nar Bahadur Bhandari today gave a strong hint to “quit” active politics and indulge into peaceful activities in “isolation.”
The question of “to bow out or to resurrect” will be answered by Mr. Bhandari himself on coming days, most probably at the end of July.
“I have already written my resignation letter to the AICC president and I am carrying the letter with me and have not submitted for the time being,” said the SPCC president in a press meet at the party head office at Development Area.
The two page resignation letter had been written on May 17, one day after the results for the Assembly and Parliamentary elections for Sikkim was announced where the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) romped home with all the 32 Assembly seats and the lone Parliamentary seat.
Though Mr. Bhandari has already expressed his desire to quit from SPCC president post, he has not yet formally submitted his resignation letter and has put his papers in abeyance for one and half months apparently waiting for ‘something to happen’. “I will wait for one and half months before deciding what to do”, he said.
“But if I resign, I will resign from the Congress party altogether and I will not be in active politics. I will not bother by setting up regional outfits”, said Mr. Bhandari.
Despite being non-committal on his future plans expect a possible retreat, the 68 years old political stalwart of Sikkim appeared resigned to his fate following the debacle in his swansong Assembly elections.
“It was difficult for me during the elections. I though the crowd which used to gather during my meetings was there to support me but instead the crowd was a farewell crowd. All the blessings and best wishes offered to me were all farewell messages”, reflected Mr. Bhandari. He also termed the recent Assembly elections results as ‘miracle’.
“I have completed 35 years in Sikkim politics and served the people to the best of my ability. My political career of almost four decades reached its climax by winning 32 seats of 32 seats. So my duty is over”, said Mr. Bhandari.
If the SPCC president does bows out from the party, the party’s central high command will subsequently nominate one party person as the interim president till elections are held for the new SPCC president.
The Congress party high command has already indicated for a major revamp in the State unit party’s structure, said party leader KN Uperti.
During the press meet, Mr. Bhandari also clarified that neither he nor the SPCC have ever written to the AICC president Sonia Gandhi not to include SDF in the UPA. “I have never written that the SDF must not be included in the UPA,” he said.
The SPCC president said that the party has not lost its heart after the elections.

Source: Sikkim Express

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