Nim Dorji | Bumthang

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering although campaigning as the party president for DNT’s candidate for Chhoekhor-Tang constituency, Dawa, has made a mark going by what voters said during the two-day campaign.

Many are of the view that it would be better to support the candidate who belongs to the ruling party. Villager from Ngasiphel said that although blacktopping both the roads to Chhoekhor Toed and Dhur were promised in past elections, it never happened because the representative from the constituency was in the opposition party.

“If our representative is in the government, it might happen,” said a villager.

In Tang, a village elder, who requested anonymity, said that with execution of development plans a government’s prerogative, it would be better to vote for the candidate in the ruling party.

The party president and the candidate wooed voters with promises of blacktopping farm roads, deploying medical experts, including a specialist, constructing mobile towers and provide boarding facilities in schools.

The by-election for the constituency will be held on November 19, after the former Opposition Leader, who represented the constituency, resigned on September 7.

The Prime Minister, who sought approval from the Election Commission of Bhutan to campaign as the party president, promised to blacktop the farm roads of Chhoekhor Toed and Dhur.

He also pledged to send four medical experts, a gynecologist, a pediatrician, a surgeon and a medical specialist to Wangdicholing Hospital by January 2021.

“Our candidate shared with me how people residing in the highland face difficulties in communicating without mobile network,” he said. “We will construct a mobile tower if you all support our candidate.”

He also promised to convert Zhabjethang Primary School to a boarding school if people wanted.

Some villagers, however, were skeptical on the promise of blacktopping the Dhur road.

A villager, Tshering Dorji questioned if the pledge of blacktopping farm roads would materialise. He reasoned that the 12-km Dhur road is classified as “logging- road” as of now. “I heard that the road has to be converted to a farm road and then to feeder road to be blacktopped.”

The Prime Minister asserted that even if the road didn’t qualify for blacktopping, they would do it as an additional capital work.

Another Chhoekhor Toed resident, Tashi, said the two roads were always included in the pledges of political parties. “We hope to see the roads blacktopped whoever wins the election this time.”

DNT’s candidate, Dawa, said that although the roads are classified as farm road, it could be considered for blacktopping as the gewog centre road is near the town when most people of the gewog live in far-flung villages of upper Chhoekhor.

In Tang yesterday, the president and Dawa promised to blacktop the farm road until Tandigang, the last village, which is about 15km from the gewog centre.

The president and Dawa visited four chiwogs in Tang, known to be a Druk Phuensum Tshogpa stronghold, yesterday.

They would campaign in lower Chhoekhor and town today.