Election period this year has coincided with the harvest season.

In Paro, the candidates are going to the fields to meet people.

Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s (DPT) candidate in Lamgong-Wangchang constituency, Phub Tshering, said that he had already completed door-to-door campaign thrice.

“This is my fourth time. I feel that in terms of distance coverage, I would have probably covered the most,” he said.

He said that having served with the local government, he had an advantage because he was familiar with issues facing the people. “As a gup, I know about the difficulties the people face. I am pretty confident about the support that I have from people.”

A resident of Tshenzhi in Tsento, Om, said that she participated in every party meeting. “Democracy and the right to vote is a gift from our Majesty. Without meetings, I don’t think people can better understand the parties and their visions.”

Penjore from Doteng has been doing the same. “Candidates are yet to visit the village in the gewog although they came during the primary round.” It is always good to interact and hear from them and about their plans for the constituency, he added.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) candidate Dogar-Shaba, Namgay Tshering, said: “Wherever people are we need to go the place. I feel that ECB needs to let all candidates conduct door-to-door campaign together as there are chances of corruption during such campaigns.”

He said that completing campaign in Lungnyi gewog took about four days. “While campaigning, people were really patient. I am confident with assurances and confidence of the people.”

Dorji from Bondey said that democracy has benefited people. “It has made people feel important.” He feels that the way that candidates made efforts to visit people wherever they are shows that they are genuine about what they stand for and believe in.

Shortage of drinking and irrigation is among the major challenges faced by the people in the dzongkhag.

DPT candidate from Dogar-Shaba, Chencho Dorji, said that during the day people were in the fields. “After six, we are not allowed to campaign. However, morning and night are the only times where people are mostly in their houses.”

He said that most people understood the hardship when he went into their fields. “They seemed to appreciate us connecting to them. They are also interested to interact.”

A resident of Shaba, Dem, said that people were glad that candidates came to talk to them and explain their pledges.

DNT candidate Ugyen Tshering from Lamgong-Wangchang said that compared to other dzongkhags it was easier to connect with people because Paro had better roads. He is on his third campaign with the people of the constituency. “When we see a cluster of people in the fields, we go and talk to them. More importantly, they are ready to listen to us.”

He said that pledges were explained in the first round, however in the second round, it was more localised. “As a former member of Parliament, I guess I have a little advantage.”

Rinchen Zangmo | Paro