The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) party coordinator in Samkhar gewog has filed a verbal complaint to the office of the returning officer (RO) in Trashigang against Kanglung gup Kinzang Dorji for influencing voters not to vote for the party.

According to the coordinator, Kencho Gyeltshen, the gup had called seven people from Khapti and Bikhar villages under Samkhar gewog for a meeting in Trashigang on September 12.

He said he knew about the meeting when a villager from Bikhar, Tobgay, called him to inquire about the details shared by the gup at the meeting.

Tobgay told Kuensel that another villager, Ngawang, on the eve of September 12 was in Bazor village spreading the news that DPT as a party has dissolved.

“He said that the new parties, Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) were not capable of forming the government,” said Tobgay. “Nawang told us that Kanglung gup asked them to support PDP.”

In a statement to the office of the returning officer for Kanglung-Samkhar-Udzorong constituency, Ngawang has denied his involvement in spreading the news.

However, it was learnt that the office cautioned him from committing such activities in future.

Ngawang told Kuensel that he along with some other villagers from Khapti and Bikhar met Kanglung gup, Kinzang Dorji, at Deothjung hotel in Trashigang on September 12.

“The gup told us that we have to support PDP this time and we cannot allow DPT to come to power again,” he said. “After the meeting, I told a woman to support PDP on my way back home.”

Kuensel learnt that Ngawang had shared the news to at least four individuals in Bazor village.

Nawang later agreed that he shared the gup’s message to more than one woman.

One of the seven people, who were present at the meeting at Deothjung hotel, Norjay, said that the gup during the meeting declared his support for PDP and asked them to convince other villagers to also support PDP.

“The gup told us to inform the public that it was an order from him to support PDP,” said Norjay.

Gup Kinzang Dorji however, denied all the allegations. “I never called for a meeting on September 12,” he said. “I happened to be there at the hotel drinking tea when few villagers who knew me came forward and started asking my views on the elections.”

The gup said he did not persuade any of them to vote for PDP. “As a personal opinion I just mentioned that I voted for DPT in the past two elections and now that I wanted to change my vote,” he said. “I did not name any party in particular. I just said that of the three other parties, I would be voting for one. And I told them that they all can also have a party of their own choice.”

Meanwhile, the returning officer said that since the complaint was verbal, they have taken the statement of one of the individuals and also cautioned others who were involved in the issue.

It was also learnt that Kanglung gup was reminded to maintain the apolitical status as a representative of the local government.

DPT coordinator, Kencho Gyeltshen said that the party would not be filing a written complaint given that the poll was just a day away. “Although we know what the gup has done, we would not be complaining because it would further confuse the voters. We rest the complaint here.”

Younten Tshedup | Kanglung