Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) president Lotay Tshering said that given the amount of support his party has received from the southern dzongkhags, he is confident to win in Dophuchen-Tading constituency, Samtse.

In the primary round, DPT won in Dophuchen-Tading constituency with 2,679 votes against DNT’s 2,453.

DNT’s candidate Loknath Sharma, who also contested in 2013, won in postal ballot while the DPT candidate Thakur Singh Powdyel in electronic voting machine votes in the primary election on September 15.

His opponent enjoys the advantage of having served a term in the parliament and as the education minister. Thakur S Powdyel is also known to have delivered on his local pledges during his term.

Others said that since their previous MP and PDP candidate have not been in the constituency and met his pledges, some voters have reservations trusting a new candidate.

A promise of becoming a minister would boost Loknath Sharma’s chances to win this time, his second attempt.

DNT president Lotay Tshering said that given the opportunity Loknath Sharma would not disappoint them.

“All you have seen so far is gold but now you have the option to choose a pearl or someone better in Loknath,” Lotay Tshering said. “You give him a chance and we would make him a minister.”

Lotay Tshering, speaking about the party’s local pledges, said DNT would build a general hospital in the constituency and a basic heath unit in every large village with the four specialist services such ultrasound, blood and urine examination, and endoscopy.

He said that these hospitals would not happen overnight but if a plan is put in place such facilities will come in two years.

The central schools in the gewog would be divided into two. The central school would have classes from seven and twelve. The smaller schools will be in the villages with the same facilities, he said.

Lotay Tshering said he would still continue his practice even after being elected. He would examine the patients one day and operate on them the other day.

He said that there are two lessons the rest of the country can learn from their kindred in the southern dzongkhags. To change the political parties in the power, and then to vote in unison are the messages that have come out strongly in this election.

Politics so far has created rifts in the society, Lotay Tshering said. “We’ll undo this trend and heal the scars.”

The most important thing is that peace and harmony should prevail, he said.

He held three meetings in the constituency yesterday at Panbari Pry School, Dorokha and Denchukha gewog administration offices.

An elderly asked if the party would make their candidate the information and communications minister, if elected as he worked in the roads safety and transport authority. “First elect him, then we’ll see,” was Lotay Tshering’s quick response.

Loknath Sharma who is pitched against his former vice principal of Sherubtse College feels he equally has a chance to win.

“While he has won the primary round with about 200 votes, I think I have 50 percent chance to win,” he said.

Party coordinators asked their supporters in other gewogs to call their relatives and friends in the constituency to support Loknath Sharma.

The DNT president asked those at the gathering to encourage those who have not voted in the primary round of the election in the constituency. The constituency recorded one of the lowest voter turnouts in the primary elections.

Lotay Tshering also spoke to some former students who dropped out of school after completing class 10. “You can continue your studies even if you’re married and have children,” he said.

He will campaign in Haa today.

Tshering Palden | Dorokha