Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the two National Assembly bye-election candidates of Nganglam demkhong in Pemagatshel were satisfied with the turnout at the common forum yesterday.

The common forum for Kholomri and Doongchilo in Dechenling gewog was held yesterday at Dechenling LSS. More than 50 people attended the forum. With this, the common forum for the bye-election ended.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) candidate, Karma Dorji and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s candidate, Rinchen Pelzang, said that it’s important for people to listen to their manifestos on a shared platform and make an informed choice.

Rinchen Pelzang said people should now realise and know whether the DNT would fulfil their pledges, adding that about 100 pledges such as hospital establishment, maternity allowances and vehicle quota for every household were still not fulfilled.

“Opposition is also equally important to that of the ruling party in the assembly because an opposition makes the ruling party fulfil their pledges through check and balance,” Rinchen Pelzang said.

Rinchen Pelzang said that he would continue the pledges of the former late member of parliament, Choida Jamtsho, if he gets elected and would also establish a dry port in Nganglam, which would help farmers pack their agricultural products. “It would also help create employment.”

He said he would also bring national flagship programmes to address such as water issues in the demkhong, adding that since he served about 13 years in the agriculture department, he would also promote the agricultural activities in the demkhong. “I have been involved in the social activities in Dechenling.”

Karma Dorji said the bye-election is not about the parties. He echoed the party’s narrative, also used  by DNT’s Mongar candidate, that it’s an election for the voters to elect the candidate who would best serve the nation and people in the demkhong.

He pledged to construct a 50-bed hospital with X-ray and endoscopy in Nganglam. The candidate pledged to address the acute water shortage in the gewog through the government’s Nu 3 billion water flagship programme.

Karma Dorji said his party will widen and blacktop gewog centre and farm roads as most of the roads in the demkhong are not pliable today. “I would also construct new farm roads in the demkhong.”

He said that he would also bring an agriculture corporation that would help farmers sell their agricultural products, and it would also have cold storage. “It always has advantages for the ruling party since it can implement more developmental activities.”

The voters said it’s important for them to attend the common forums and listen to the pledges. “Although we have heard their pledges, we still need to be careful and vote for the best during the voting,” a voter, Sangay, said.

By Kelzang Wangchuk | Nganglam

Edited by Tshering Palden