LG: Four incumbent gups from Trashigang will not contest in the upcoming Local Government (LG) election, which is slated to begin by the end of this month.

At 65 years, Bidung gup, Dorji Wangchuk said age was one key factor for his decision to not re-contest this time. Having worked for the Department of Forest and Park Services for 21 years and currently serving his first term as a gup, he said that it was time to commit more of his energy to family.

“It is now time to count prayers on my rosary beads and spend quality time with my family,” he said adding that he had contested five years back upon insistence from the villagers.

Deciding not to re-contest, he said, would provide opportunity for another capable candidate to serve the villagers and would bring in employment at a time when the country is grappling with serious unemployment issues.

“As a gup, I have been serving with utmost dedication. My people are happy and I will take their happiness and satisfaction as another stride of accomplishment in my life,” he said.

As for Lumang gup, Tandin Wangchuk, 30, not contesting this time is about prepping himself for the future to serve the country and the people in a better and more efficient manner.

“After much consideration and consultation, I have decided to take a break this time around. I will be investing my time to pursue further studies and build up my capacity. Then, I shall return and contest for the gup’s post again,” the gup, who is a Class XII pass out, said.

As gups, he said that they are confronted with several new policies, which are at times difficult to comprehend while an experience of five years alone doesn’t justify the responsibility they are entrusted with.

“I believe there is no place better than the gewogs from where one can serve the country better. So, I won’t be contesting in the parliamentary elections after my studies; I would still go for the gup’s post,” he said.

For 50-year-old Merak gup, Gaydhen, his deteriorating health has been posing problems. In 2014, he was referred to Kolkata for medical treatment after he remained bed ridden for a week.

“Although villagers want me to stand again, my health won’t allow me to serve them to my full potential. Hence, I must make way for somebody who can. I decided not to re-contest more than three years ago,” he said.

Before being appointed to his current tenure as a gup in 2011, he also served as the gewog’s mangmi for one term. And to those contesting from his gewog for the gup’s post this time, he has a word of advice:

“Candidates must make the best of the opportunity they have. As a gup, there will be numerous challenges but how he or she overcomes these challenges would determine the results. Hence, one must have a clear understanding of such challenges for better results,” he said.

The fourth gup who will not contest in the LG election is Bartsham gup, Sonam Dorji, 38. To him, it is about giving an opportunity to others. He is also serving his first tenure as a gup.

“On my part, all developmental activities in the gewog for the current plan are progressing well. After I step down, I will keep guiding and sharing my knowledge and experience with the next gup,” he said.

Trashigang has 15 gewogs in total and the remaining 11 incumbent gups have all decided to re-contest.

Tshering Wangdi |  Trashigang