Nar Bahadur Bhandari
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|Nar Bahadur Bhandari|
|2nd Chief Minister of Sikkim|
18 October 1979 – 11 May 1984
|Preceded by||President's rule|
|Succeeded by||B. B. Gurung|
8 March 1985 – 17 June 1994
|Preceded by||President's rule|
|Succeeded by||Sanchaman Limboo|
|Born||5 October 1940|
Malbasay, Soreng, Sikkim, India
|Died||16 July 2017 (aged 76)|
New Delhi, India
|Political party||Sikkim Sangram Parishad|
|Spouse(s)||Dil Kumari Bhandari|
|Residence||Gangtok, Sikkim, India|
Nar Bahadur Bhandari (5 October 1940 – 16 July 2017) was a chief minister of the state of Sikkim in India who governed the state from 1979 to 1994. He was the founder leader of Sikkim Sangram Parishad party. He was popularly remembered for his contributions to include Nepali language in 8th Scheduled of the Constitution of India. He was the first ever Chief Minister of Indian Gorkha origin. He also served as the President of Bharatia Nepali Bhasha Parisangh until his death. He is popularly known as architect of modern Sikkim.
Nar Bahadur Bhandari was born on 5 October 1940 in Malbasay village, near Soreng, West Sikkim. He completed his BA degree from Darjeeling Government College and worked as a school teacher for some years before joining politics. His wife Dil Kumari Bhandari is a former member of parliament (Lok Sabha) from Sikkim.
Bhandari founded the Sikkim Janata Parishad in 1977. This party won the state assembly election held in 1979 and he became the chief minister for the first time on 18 October 1979. In 1984, he also served briefly as Member of Parliament from Sikkim constituency in the 8th Lok Sabha as an independent candidate. In 1984, Bhandari dissolved the Sikkim Janata Parishad and formed a new party called Sikkim Sangram Parishad. This party contested the assembly elections in 1985 and won, and Bhandari became the chief minister for the second time. In 1989, Sikkim Sangram Parishad returned to power by winning the assembly elections. In a rare instance in Indian National Politics, the Sikkim Sangram Parishad became the singular party in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, winning all 32 seats in the House. In 1994, Bhandari lost the vote of confidence in the state assembly and he resigned as chief minister. Later he served as the Member of Legislative Assembly from 1994 to 2004.
In 1994, Bhandari's party Sikkim Sangram Parishad lost the assembly elections to Pawan Kumar Chamling-led Sikkim Democratic Front. Sikkim Sangram Parishad also lost the 1999 assembly election. In the 2004 state assembly elections, Bhandari contested under the Congress party but the party lost the election, winning only one seat. Again in the 2009 assembly elections the Congress party under Bhandari failed to win any seat in the state assembly. In 2014 elections his party unanimously supported new political party SKM under the leadership of PS Golay. Bhandari, after his conviction in a corruption case carried a campaigning for SKM party where SKM managed to win only 10 seats out of 32. Prior to his death he was close to SKM party as he gave his last speech at SKM Foundation Day Celebration at Singtam on 4th February 2017.
His Government's notable works are free education from elementary to graduate level, fecilitating drinking waters to every households of Sikkim, schools in redious of 3 to 4 km distance, linking roads to all major villages of Sikkim, 100% rural electrifications, and the set up of vast healthcare centers.
Later life and death
Bhandari became the president of the Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) after he had merged his party Sikkim Sangram Parishad with the Indian National Congress in 2003. In May 2013, he was reinstated as the president of the Sikkim Sangram Parishad. In 2014 he was convicted in a CBI corruption case.
Bhandari died on 16 July 2017 after a spinal surgery.
His final rites was performed with full state honour by the current Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Kumar Chamling and 21 gun salute was given on his final journey. In a very rare gesture, the family of former King of Sikkim sent their royal flag to be wrapped around Bhandari during the state funeral.