At Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) campaign in Paro on September 5, the party stressed on the importance of evaluating pledges of parties while choosing a party.

DNT president Lotay Tshering said that if people can make out the difference between genuine and insincere pledges, then choosing a party wouldn’t be difficult. “If a party has more pledges then we need to look at its practicality. The party that will most benefit the people and the country should get elected.”

He said that in 2013, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) said that they made the 11th Plan. “However, during the time, the other three parties argued that the plan was of the people’s, which was a result of extensive consultation. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said that 12th Plan was their plan. It is the people’s plans.”

Lotay Tshering said that whatever is included in the plan is not to be taken as pledges. “For instance, a couple of parties pledged to provide Nu 50 Million (M) for development but when we look at the 12th Plan, it is clearly stipulated that Nu 50M would be provided to people which was put forward by gups in consultation with the people.”

Speaking on the party president’s public debate, he said that two parties stressed on the importance of experience. “Experience of aggravating unemployment situation? Experience of doubling debt figures? Then yes, they have a lot of experience.”

In education, he said DNT would equip classrooms with projectors, Internet facilities, and heating and cooling facilities. “If students can pass class X, we will let the students continue in the next grade. We learnt that most students who are unable to get through grade X were from humble background.”

Pledging to develop hospitals, he said that the country has only three hospitals that include all four facilities (pediatrician, gynecologist, medical specialist, and a surgeon).

He said DNT would also create a tourism development board and create policies concerning tourism development.

Lotay Tshering said that when the parties were in the government and had the power to provide allowances to doctors and nurses, they did not. “Now, when its time for elections, they are again vouching for themselves and the allowance has been included in their pledges.”

He said that the reduction of schools to 200 had been planned in the 12th Plan. However, a notification to not close the schools was also issued thereafter.

Lotay Tshering said that if DNT got the opportunity to form the government, the party would ensure continuity of the programmes even if the previous two parties had initiated them. “The plans will not be discontinued as these are plans that benefit the people and the country.”

He said that if people were concerned about employment, either DNT or Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) should get elected. “Former governments have failed in this field.”

One of the residents in Paro, Ugyen Wangchuk, said that the pledges seemed practical. “I came to listen to the pledges and how their plans were in helping the community.”

The 69-year-old said that although Paro is considered a developed dzongkhag, he said that it lacks basic facilities.

Another attendee Ugyen,  said she was particularly in favour of the party’s pledge to improve and develop healthcare related services. “When my son had to get hospitalised for treatment, it was difficult to get necessary checkups on the first day. I had to go over four times to the hospital just for a test result.”

The constant wait at the hospital even after obtaining a token was exhausting, she said. “During elections we need to be careful and really listen and understand to know if parties can execute their plans better.”

Paro was the third place after DNT finished campaigning in Bajo, Wangdue and at Kawang in Thimphu. Paro is the 15th dzongkhag that DNT has campaigned at.

Over 300 people attended the campaign that lasted for about two hours. The campaign was aired live on Facebook.

Rinchen Zangmo | Paro