Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) is desperate to be seen and heard, more so after the Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) announced Dasho Neten Zangmo as its new president, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said at the meet the press session yesterday.
He was responding to the DNT’s press release that stated fiscal incentives, which the government had granted as unconstitutional and that the Prime Minister and finance minister should resign.
The Prime Minister said that even as DNT does not have presence in the Parliament, every now and then the party issues press releases. “I think it is good, but good only if the press releases are well thought-out.”
“If it is just to be seen and heard every once in a while, I think that motivation is wrong,” the Prime Minister said. Even if it is to be just seen and heard,
it is good as long as DNT understands the issue and question those that are of national importance, he added. “The problem arises when they don’t understand the issue, or even if they understand, they really don’t care.”
Prime Minister also questioned the timing of the press releases that gained the media attention of the DNT. He said that after BKP announced Dasho Neten Zangmo as the new president, the whole country seem to talk about her and BKP.
“It’s almost like DNT was desperate to be seen and to be heard as relevant and intelligent,” he said, adding that it has outrageously declared something that was legal as unconstitutional and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister and finance minister.
“I have tried not to respond because it doesn’t merit a response,” he said. “As far as I know and as far as I can see, this is politics.”
Further substantiating his stand, Prime Minister referred to the press release DNT issued on the public debt claiming it was skyrocketing. “They got the government to reply and after the government replied they were quite.”
If the DNT had done their homework and understood the fundamentals of the economy and structure of the debt, the party would not have raised the issue, the Prime Minister said. “They are desperate to engage with the government.”
On the matter of central schools, Prime Minister said that the DNT took a picture of Rangtse Primary School in his constituency and explained about the poor living conditions and facilities. He added that the school is not a government boarding school and that the picture they took was of informal boarding. “This is precisely why we started central schools because our children are building sheds and shacks and living in unacceptable conditions.”
The DNT, he said, has sensationalised the issue. The Prime Minister said he responded why central schools are crucial to address such problems and added that DNT was celebrating the fact the PM responded to their press release. “This proves the point that press release was issued only to get the government’s attention and get the government to respond.”
“That is politics of worse order,” Prime Minister said. “Yes, the elections are approaching, but lets get into the political mode may be six months before elections.”
He said the government has more than a year and a month in hand. “Should we start playing politics?” he asked. “But we would have wasted the last year on politics rather than on development.”