After the completion of common forums, the two candidates of Sarpang’s Shompangkha constituency are on their door-to-door campaign to woo the voters. 

Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) candidate Deo Kumar Rimal, 34, campaigned door-to-door in Gakiling gewog yesterday. He has a Bachelors of Science in information technology (IT). Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) candidate Tek Bdr Rai, 40, has a B.Tech in Civil Engineering. He campaigned doo-to-door in Singye gewog yesterday.

Tek Bdr Rai said he is focusing on women as part of his campaign strategy. Helping rural women by giving sanitary pads and maternity allowance is one of the means of women empowerment. 

“Focusing on having women in parliament alone is not enough,” he said. “The main priorities in the constituency are irrigation and drinking water. We also need to strengthen cellular network and Sarpang needs to be developed.” 

Tek Bdr Rai said that he has plans to develop a factory in the special economic zone in his constituency.  He also said that DNT would start crop insurance for the benefit of farmers.  

He said he has explained to the people that the government would not be able to do much when it comes to the issue of census and land. “Census and excess land are major issues in my constituency,” he said. “They also ask if the government could provide excess land on lease. Some ask if they could buy the excess land at government rate.”

In the priority list of the DPT candidate, Deo Kumar Rimal, are construction of new farm roads and maintenance of existing farm roads. “We will also prioriotise tourism, agriculture and inter-dzongkhag road connectivity to strengthen the country’s security.”

Deo Kumar Rimal said, “I was born and brought up in my village. I am aware of the issues faced by my constituents. I can represent my constituency given my ability to speak the working language of the Parliament.”

He also said that the cellular network in the constituency needed to be enhanced and that human-wild life conflict is still an issue. “We have to put in place a proper policy to address the problem,” he said. 

The DPT candidate said that some of the main issues raised by the people were related to census and land. “It’s not in our power to solve issues related to census and land but I have told the people that our government would do whatever is within our jurisdiction to address the problem,” he said. 

Deo Kumar Rimal said that some farmers’ land have been affected by landside and flood and that the affected people wished for replacement. He said some of his constituents wanted to convert their wet land into dry land due to lack of irrigation water.

He argued that DPT was a better choice than DNT, saying that the party has both long term and short-term goals. “DNT is not confident about its own manifesto, which is why they are changing their words on their manifesto. They want to provide many things free of cost,” he said. 

However, the DNT candidate said that the benefits of his party’s pledgs would be felt after 10 to 15 years. “We are investing mainly in health and education. The pledges are doable,” Tek Bdr Rai.

MB Subba | Gelephu