One of the National Council aspirants of Tsholingkhar gewog in Tsirang, who lost during the gewog’s dhamngoi zomdu on March 3, has filed a complaint against the gewog gup accusing him of corruption and misusing power during the dhamngoi zomdu process.

The complaint has been put to the dzongkhag election dispute settlement committee. However, the committee is yet to formally register the complaint, according to the committee members.

Members also said that the complainant has been asked to authenticate his points of allegations before it is registered.

Complainant Ram Kumar Neopaney, who lost by 43 votes, has accused gup Passang Thingh Tamang of allegedly predetermining the results of the dhamngoi zomdu. He claimed that the gup allegedly made calls to voters and defamed him by spreading false information about him.

According to the complaint submitted to the committee, a day before the zomdu, the gup allegedly called him and told him to accept defeat and to be strong. “It was disheartening for me to know that I was losing even before the dhamngoi zomdu was conducted,” he said.

The complainant also claimed that the gup allegedly told him over the phone that a group of people from Gosarling and Tsholingkhar gewog visited the gup and insisted to support the complainant’s opponent.  “I did not believe him initially but later when my friends told me that the gup was making phone calls to voters and was diverting my supporters towards my opponent, I was surprised,” he said.  “He sought my forgiveness for his mistakes over the phone.”

He also accused the gup of allegedly seeking a bribe of Nu 25,000 from him before the zomdu, which he refused.

The complainant claimed that it was because he did not give money to the gup that he was against him.

Gup Passang Thingh Tamang said that he and the candidate were good friends for many years.

He claimed that there were many incidences where the complainant had sought his advice on contesting the election and that he shared his experience as a friend.

On the allegations the complainant had made against him, the gup said his conscience is clear and that he is well aware of the conducts of an apolitical official.  “As mandated by the Election Commission to ensure majority voter turn out, I told voters to come to vote and distributed their Voter Photo Identity Card,” he said.

Staff reporter