Two brothers from the family are vying for tshogpa post of  Khenpagang Chiwog

Nima | Gelephu

Khenpagang, a small village on a hill overlooking the plains of Samtenthang and Samtenling gewog in Sarpang has the highest aspiring candidates in the upcoming local government election.

The chiwog has six candidates vying for the post of gup, mangmi, and tshogpa of which four are siblings.

Of the nine siblings in a family, two brothers contested for the gup post in 2016 and four siblings are contesting this year of which a brother and sister, Pema Dorji Tamang and Lagu Dolma Tamang, are contesting for the gup and mangmi post. Two brothers, Tshering Tamang and Dawa Tshering Tamang are running for the tshogpa post from the chiwog.

Lagu Dolma Tamang, 25, is the youngest in the family. She is contesting for the mangmi post.

“It’s a whole different feeling when almost all family members are into the election campaign. We share a common interest and aspiration to serve the country and community,” she said.

The lone women candidate for mangmi from Samtenling said that she is campaigning for a cause different from her brothers.  “I want to show a pathway for women in the gewog. It’s not an easy task. In the beginning, people were not supportive of women candidates. However, after reaching out to them repeatedly, they start to see us as equals. We need to encourage more women to contest elections,” said Lagu Dolma Tamang.

The other mangmi candidates from the gewog are Bal Krishna Baraily from Samtenling chiwog and Tashi Rabten from Chhoekhorling Dechenpelri chiwog.

Meanwhile, the seven-kilometre farm road leading to Khenpagang is rough and bumpy. It takes almost half an hour to reach the village from the gewog centre. Only bolero pick-up trucks could ply on the road. There is a drinking water shortage in the village.

No gups and mangmi were elected from the village on the hill, according to Dawa Tshering Tamang, an aspiring tshogpa candidate from the family.

The aspiring candidate said that he would contest for gup in the future. “For now, I am starting from the lowest level. Tshogpa should be equally strong and qualified. I will keep the gup and mangmi reminded of issues and development in the chiwog,” he said.

He said that it would be exciting to see all four of them win the election. “We would serve people. There were no gups and mangmi from the chiwog.”

Dawa Tshering Tamang will be competing with his elder brother and two other candidates from Khenpagang for the tshogpa post. There are five chiwogs in Samtenling.

“It’s historic. Khenpagang has the highest aspiring candidates for the first time in this election from Samtenling,” said one of the brothers.

Pema Dorji Tamang, 34, is the most qualified of the four. The Bachelors of Commerce graduate was nominated from Khenpagang during dhamngoi zomdu as a gup candidate from the chiwog on November 13.

Three candidates participated in the dhamngoi zomdu.

Pema Dorji Tamang said that it was time for them to make their parents proud. “They educated us. We are all equally strong candidates and people should make the right choice. It’s time for the qualified ones to become a gup.”

He said people wanted him to contest. “I am not sure who will get elected, but we would have definitely made our parents proud.”

There are 36 aspiring candidates vying for the gup post and 38 for mangmi. Six women are contesting for gup and mangmi post from Samtenling.