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ABGL hill nominee Laxman Pradhan not to contest poll

Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League vice-president Laxman Pradhan
Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League vice-president Laxman Pradhan, who had been fielded by the party for the Darjeeling seat, has decided not to contest the polls citing health reasons.
The ABGL is not fielding any nominee from the hills this time. Sources said the party would support Jan Andolan Party chief Harka Bahadur Chhetri in Kalimpong.
"We are looking for an alternative candidate. A nominee should be fixed by 1pm. I am not contesting as my family members and relatives do not want me to because I have high blood pressure and blood sugar," Laxman had said early this morning.
No ABGL nominee filed papers for the seat today, the last date for submitting nominations.
Asked about an alternative candidate, Pratap Khati, ABGL general secretary, said: "We were not interested in finding an alternate candidate as Laxman Pradhan was the consensus candidate for Darjeeling. He could not contest due to health reasons. Also, when the problem arose over our Darjeeling candidate, we did not pursue the Kurseong candidate too seriously. We did not want anti-Morcha votes to split."
Today, Govind Chhetri of the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) filed his papers for the Darjeeling seat. The CPRM is contesting Assembly polls on its own for the first time.(TT)

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