A close associate of India’s Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Bhandari contested unsuccessfully last assembly election from Kishtwar.
Bhandari had suffered a heart attack at the Jammu residence of his brother where from he was rushed to GMC Jammu by the family and his friend Ghulam Mohammed Saroori. He died within an hour after reaching the hospital.
A Congressman for last 30, Bhandari held important party positions including State Secretary. At the peak of militancy, he was district president. He also served as Vice Chairman of Mata Sarthal Devi Trust. He is survived by sons Randeep and Aman besides his widow.