Those gathered for the common forum at the Phuntshothang gewog hall in Samdrupjongkhar yesterday were dished a large serving of philosophical lecture when Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa president Lotay Tshering, and Bhutan Kuen-Nyam president Neten Zangmo addressed the gathering in succession.

Like in all other common forums held in the constituency, Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhag election officer, Norbu Wangdi also spoke on the theme for more than 20 minutes.

The two party presidents alerted the people not to choose a party that gives freebies, and makes a lot of promises.

DNT President Lotay Tshering speaks to the people of Phuntshothang gewog

DNT President Lotay Tshering speaks to the people of Phuntshothang gewog

“The parties have no enmity but want to serve the people,” Lotay Tshering said. “But those who come to buy your votes don’t deserve to serve.”

Lotay Tshering, who was enroute to Trashigang, stopped at the gewog briefly to campaign in Dzongkha at the meeting in Phuntshothang gewog. The election officials permitted him to talk for sometime before the forum began.

Lotay Tshering extolled on the virtue of his candidate from the constituency. Thinley Namyal contests with BKP president Neten Zangmo, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s Ugyen Dorji, and People’s Democratic Party’s Wangdi Gyaltshen.

Thinley Namgyal, the DNT president said, has lived in Dewathang for the past 10 years and also served as a thromde representative.

“We have chosen him because only someone who knows about the people and their difficulties will be able to serve genuinely,” he said.

Lotay Tshering said that if elected, DNT would open an office for the candidate in the constituency. “He’ll be here when he is not attending the Parliament sessions or meetings in Thimphu to listen to your problems and deal with them.”

The two party presidents spoke on their manifestos prioritising health, jobs, tourism, and economy, among others.

BKP President Neten Zangmo with the people of Pemathang gewog

BKP President Neten Zangmo with the people of Pemathang gewog

Neten Zangmo spoke in Lhotshamkha and Tshanglakha with her usual plea to make their own choices without fear.

“If the people are not fearless and independent to choose among parties then the government chosen would be weak,” she said.

“I don’t want to beg for votes but if I am not able to deliver in the five-year term I’ll not even show my face. We’ve to deliver,” she said, adding that BKP’s vision for the country is beyond five years.

In Pemathang gewog, which falls under the Jomotsangkha-Martshala constituency, she urged people to participate in elections and cast their votes.

“Statistics show only 55 percent take part in voting. This is not done, we must all do it,” she said.

One of the villagers in Phuntshothang gewog asked BKP president on the need to maintain the road between Dewathang and Samdrupcholing drungkhag.

“Because the road condition is so terrible, patients mainly the pregnant women referred to Samdrupjongkhar hospital could die on the way,” Kharananda Adhikari said.

He said that the power supply in the drungkhag is erratic. “This has spoilt injections and medicines in the basic health unit and patients are sent to the dzongkhag hospital,” he said.

The 49-km secondary national highway connects Dewathang to four gewogs under Samdrupcholing drungkhag including Pemathang gewog.

Another villager from the gewog, Singye Dorji, 34, said that since 2008, not much repair has gone into improving the condition of the road.

“If anything, we need it fixed to a decent condition,” he said.

Neten Zangmo said that her party would ensure better roads are built and that roads don’t have potholes.

“Our mobile health clinic that will keeping moving around to address your concerns,” she said.

Other party candidates also touched on the road issues, as their parties pledge better roads.

The common forum for Dewathang-Gomdar constituency ends today with the last forums held in Samdrupjongkhar throde and Orong gewog.

DNT president Lotay Tshering is in Trashigang after campaigning in Pemagatshel yesterday.

Tshering Palden | Samdrupcholing


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