Voters in Trongsa, during their meetings with the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) president Lotay Tshering yesterday, inquired him on various issues. 

A former gup from Drakteng asked DNT to revisit laws for drugs abusers. “Many able youth have landed in prison from strict laws and poor services in correcting them thereafter. Should your party form the government, we request you to look into addressing this issue,” he said. 

He said the highway between Drakteng and Langthel needs urgent repair and the non-establishment of yenlag thromde needs to be resolved at the earliest. “We’re happy to hear about your party’s pledge on vehicle quota for families buying their first cars but what we also need is reliable public transport.” 

Lotay Tshering said his party would build corrective or reformative homes for substance abusers, make them acquire skills during their stay in those homes. He also assured that the bus and road issues will be resolved as well. 

The DNT president said that the party’s promise to raise the minimum basic education level is also targeted to reduce such social youth issues. 

When questioned on how DNT would deploy four specialists a dzongkhag, Lotay Tshering said there would be enough doctors. “The claim that there will not be enough doctors is not true. It is a matter of how they are deployed or used.”

He said every year about 55 doctors graduate and return to the country. There are 12 surgeons in JDWNRH, where four is enough there, Mongar and Gelephu regional hospitals have one each. The hospital also has eight medical specialists and nine gynaecologists. “This will not happen overnight but will surely come.”

He said the party would begin a nursing college and MBBS courses. 

Another voter said that the party’s manifesto does not mention increasing the gewog development grant from Nu 2 million to Nu 5 million.

Lotay Tshering said that what is in the draft 12th Plan is included in their manifesto. “We’ll definitely implement the Plan completely. There is no doubt about it,” he said. 

The DNT president said the country is showing signs of sickness because of divisive politics which has been happening since 2008.

“Our country is like a family. If we are divided and not at peace then no one can win,” he said. “If we’re divided by rich and poor, east and west, and religious beliefs, then it will land us in big trouble.” 

Lotay Tshering said that some hard-core DPT supporters allegedly posed threat to his life.

His party has recently obtained a recording of a WeChat of a taxi driver in Pemagatshel telling a truck driver, who was travelling along the same stretch on Samdrupjongkhar-Pemagatshel highway to push DNT president’s car of the Melongbrak cliff. Two trucks have closely followed his car and overtook at that stretch. 

“If DNT wins, we will ensure that there is no discrimination among the people,” Lotay Tshering said. “But if DPT wins this election then it will become even more difficult to change the parties power in the next election,” he said. “That’s why this election is critical. If we make the change this election then change is possible in 2023.”

The president was greeted in numerous dzongkhags by coordinators including those from People’s Democratic Party.

Tshering Palden | Trongsa