Relatives of a proposed candidate of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) are claiming compensation for loss of business and other opportunities since he was identified as a candidate 10 months ago.
The party is said to have first identified San Bdr Mongar from Sompangkha constituency of Sarpang as the candidate in August last year. The proposed candidate later surrendered his business license.
The party last week declared Deo Kumar Rimal 33, from Lhayul village in Chhudzom gewog, Sarpang as the constituency’s candidate.
The older brother of the proposed candidate, MB Mongar, said, “We will claim compensation for loss of energy, money and other resources for internal campaigning with friends, relatives and prospective voters.”
He said that the party officials, including the president, had endorsed his candidature at Hotel Lotus in Thimphu on August 7, 2017.
The proposed candidate, MB Mongar said, was fixed on the proposal of the party. However, he said there was an understanding that the formal announcement of the candidature would be made only after the National Council (NC) elections as one of his brothers was recontesting as an incumbent member (Dhan Bdr Mongar) from Sarpang.
According to him, Thimphu-based party supporters Hari Pradhan and Kewa Adhikari approached him, saying that DPT wanted his brother as the candidate.
“We did not want our brother who was recontesting the NC election to be affected because of our political affiliation to DPT since NC is an apolitical institution,” he said.
The proposed candidate’s brother said that he met with the president at the party office on March 5 to ask the party president about the rumours that another candidate in his brother’s place was being proposed. “But the party president assured me that my brother’s candidature was confirmed and advised me not move anywhere,” he claimed.
“We even didn’t go to village to support our brother in the NC election because we did not want to get involved in the election of an apolitical intuition,” he said.
He claimed that the candidate had offered to withdraw but the party official refused. “We never went to them, they approached us,” he said.
According to him, there was a mutual agreement between the candidate and the party to keep the deal confidential until the completion of the election.
“DPT leaked the deal between my brother and the party in the beginning of the NC election campaign. That impacted the election result of the incumbent member who is my brother,” he said.
He also said that there was mutual agreement that while the party would not propose another candidate, the candidature would not be withdrawn.
“My brother got offers from other parties as well through me but we didn’t accept their proposal since we stood by our principle. After the NC elections, DPT silently declared another person as the candidate from the constituency without informing any of our family members,” he said.
“He missed the opportunity to join other parties besides loss of time and money. He missed the opportunity to go abroad with his wife to study and work,” he said.
He claimed that he attended several party meetings such as declaration of candidates in the party’s support. “I lost a huge amount of money in calling friends and supporters to promote DPT every month,” MB Mongar said.
The party’s general secretary Ugyen Dorji said that the candidate was declared as per the party’s rules of procedure for candidate selection. “If he was give the ticket, that would have closed the door for other candidates,” he said.