Neten Dorji

At the common forum in Trashigang’s Radhi-Sakteng constituency, candidates offered similar pledges. Both the candidates promised energy, agriculture, tourism, and education development.

Bhutan Tendrel Party’s (BTP) Tashi Tenzin, who is a geologist by profession, said that his party would focus on the five economic drivers of the economy—agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, energy, and mines and minerals to improve the economy of the country and increase family income. 

He pledged to initiate Gamri hydropower project, allow collection of mineral crystals and explore possibility of establishing a lapidary unit at strategic. 

“The amount of money earned and the amount spent are not matching. If we are elected, we will divide the shares of mines and minerals so that families would make at least Nu 3 million more a year. For those who cannot afford to acquire shares, we will provide low-interest loans so they can buy shares,” said Tashi Tenzin. 

Tashi Tenzin also shared the party’s plans to blacktop chiwog roads, install chain-link fencing, manage wetland, resolve irrigation water supply issues, develop product processing centres for highlanders and construct cold storage, among others.

BTP also pledged to provide modern facilities to schools including smart interactive boards, computer labs, increased stipends, digital textbooks, facelift boarding schools, and establish boarding schools where required. 

Tashi Tenzin said the party would provide a monthly child allowance of Nu 15,000 until the child is 18-years of age and provide a monthly payment of Nu 3,000 to senior citizens above 65 years of age and to persons with disabilities. 

He also pledged to increase rural life insurances from Nu 30,000 to Nu 150,000 at premium of Nu 87 annually. “I want voters to select the right party and candidates that will benefit the people and country in the long run.”

People Democratic Party candidate (PDP) Sonam Wangchuk offered to review the central school policy and establish a central school at Radhi, open animal feed and fertiliser plant in each gewog, initiate Nu 15 billion economic stimulus plan, and promote tourism in Sakteng and Merak. 

He said that the party would construct a double lane road between Trashigang and Rangjung, initiate Gamri hydropower project, develop tourism, provide subsidised housing loans at four percent interest, chain-link fencing, initiate land development, and address the issue of irrigational water shortage. 

The party, he said, would improve existing farm roads and gewog roads, build new farm roads, and provide interest-free loans to buy machinery and jersey cows. 

“I know the rural people’s problems well since I have been working with the local government,” Sonam Wangchuk said, adding that he would initiate Gamri hydropower project and improve the rural economy.

“If I am elected, I will fulfil the aspirations of the people and serve the Tsawa-Sum with humility and compassion,” he said. “If you think I am not capable, do not vote for me but think about who would benefit people and country more.”

PDP also pledged to support land management, provide interest-free loan to buy power tillers, 80 percent loan to buy one utility vehicle and strengthen local government through adequate budget and human resources. 

A student said that youth were least interested in politics. “I feel it is equally important for us to attend a common forum and decide before we cast votes. Understanding the importance of democratic process and election is crucial.”

Radhi- Sakteng has a total of 11,039 eligible voters.