Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) would start its campaign for the general round of third National Assembly elections from either Nganglam in Pemagatshel or Bartsham-Shongphu in Trashigang.

“At the outset of this campaign, we would like to state an honest hope and wish to pursue a strategy that is not driven by short-term political gains but one that brings people together, unaffected by political differences,” a press release from DNT states.

Going by the results of the primary round, DNT president Lotay Tshering said that DNT’s chances of winning the general round was high.

He said that many DNT supporters suggested the party focused on the constituencies where the party did well during the primary round of elections. Lotay Tshering, however, said he would like to spend most of the campaign period in the eastern dzongkhags for the larger interest of the people and the country.

There was risk of losing from the constituencies that DNT won in the primary round, he said. “I will take the risk.”

He said that if DNT focused solely on the constituencies where it won, vote banks until Thrumshing La, DNT could easily win and form a government but there will not be cabinet representatives from the eastern dzongkhags. “Even if DNT wins, I would not be happy if we don’t have any representation from the east for five years.”

If DNT gained few more votes and won in one or two constituencies in the east, he said he would be more than satisfied.

DNT said that the party would present their strength through the right mix of talent pool to form the government. “The sort of party that will serve the people in its truest sense, with humility and in the greatest of sincerity in the coming years, guided by the visions of His Majesty the King.”

This is one of the reasons why DNT is set to launch their campaign from one of the eastern dzongkhags.

DNT won 41 percent of the total votes from east, 34 from south, and 25 from west. This according to the party was a clear indication of the party’s popularity in the constituencies.

Lotay Tshering said DNT got fair number of votes from all 47 constituencies. “We did not feel like we won the majority of the votes from the east because DPT won by huge margin.”

In the primary round, DNT secured the highest number of votes from 16 constituencies. In the nine constituencies where PDP won, DNT came second, which he said meant that the DNT won in 25 constituencies against DPT’s 22.

In most of the constituencies where DPT won, he said DNT came second with some margin. “DNT can easily win about four to five constituencies. But all these constituencies are not beyond Thrumshing La.”

DNT could win in about 29 constituencies, he said. “If I only focus on these constituencies, then I am planning for only winning the election and forming the government. Our objective is beyond that.”

Of the three main founders of DNT, he said the results of the primary round election were not in favour of the two from the east – Karma Dorji from Pemagatshel and Tenzin Lekphell from Trashigang. “Without them, even if DNT formed the government, it would be like separating the children from parents.”

DNT’s press release states that rugged terrain and its geographical placement have played barricades for Pemagatshel to realise the fruits of development despite it being home to one of the most prolific minerals in the country.

“Despite enticing historical anecdotes, from where Lungsermo and Aiekapur textiles originate, where palatable tsatsi buram is churned, where numerous festivals and folk songs swirl, Pemagatshel remains to surge,” DNT said.

Lotay Tshering said if DNT won, there could be at least four ministers from the eastern dzongkhags. “All three candidates from Pemagatshel are capable of becoming ministers. We have plans to have the Speaker from Pemagatshel.”

In the last 10 years, the sort of politics practiced has resulted in growing division among families and communities, DNT said.

“Divisions along the party lines is evident, but little has been done to mend that,” the party said.

Lotay Tshering said: “I don’t mind losing this year, but the country must win. For the country not to be divided based on regional politics, I have to focus on the eastern dzongkhags.”

The southeastern district is a priority for DNT.

“Nyamrup’s aspiration to narrow the gap delves so deep as to begin this healing process toward closing this rift left by the divisive politicking practiced so far,” DNT said. “Having neither played the part of the governance, or of the opposition so far, we find ourselves in the best of positions to close this gap, driven by genuine yearning to pull ourselves together.”

Dechen Tshomo