- “We realize now that not granting him the ticket in 2019 was a misunderstanding on our part. This mistake cost us our position in the government. We wholeheartedly welcome him back into the SDF family and vow not to repeat such an error in 2024. This will be our last mistake.”: Pawan Chamling, SDF Party President
Former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling admitted that ‘denying Ashish Rai ticket in 2019 elections from Arithang constituency cost Sikkim Democratic Front Party to lose the election’.
Chamling, who serves as the President of SDF party, was addressing a party joining event at SDF party office on Tuesday.
During the 2019 polls, Ashish Rai, then serving as the Municipal Corporation Subject Committee Chairman, was widely regarded as the most eligible candidate for the Arithang constituency due to his role as an SDF youth leader. However, he was unexpectedly replaced by Shyam Pradhan as the party’s candidate, sparking extensive protests among SDF members and Ashish Rai’s supporters in the lead-up to the 2019 elections.
SDF President Pawan Chamling termed Ashish Rai’s return as a ‘homecoming,’ he said “We realize now that not granting him the ticket in 2019 was a misunderstanding on our part. This mistake cost us our position in the government. We wholeheartedly welcome him back into the SDF family and vow not to repeat such an error in 2024. This will be our last mistake.”
Ashish Rai, upon rejoining the SDF, said, “I left the SDF party on March 25, 2019, to run as an independent candidate in Arithang. On September 19, 2023, I returned home. For four and a half years, I adhered to the SDF party’s principles. Chamling’s contributions to Sikkim are for the benefit of future A; the infrastructure developed during his tenure continues to bring recognition to Sikkim today and in the future.”
“Organic Sikkim is a prime example, with its recognition highlighted during the G20 summit in Sikkim. Speaking about SDF 2.0, Rai asserted, “I am here to Save Sikkim. If they (SKM party) were truly bringing about change, why hasn’t Sikkim experienced it yet?” He added
Further Rai on SDF 2.0 said, “I am here to Save Sikkim, people tell me how can I lick back my own spit, I am ready to lick back 100 spits for Sikkim. Show me one leader who doesn’t get old. He is here since th monarchy to 50 years of democracy next year, he is the only leader. If they (SKM party) were bringing changes, why hasn’t Sikkim seen change”.