In Uttaray, a small hamlet in Samtse, 70-year-old Bhansingh Ghalley has not been feeling well lately. An eligible voter of Phuentshopelri-Samtse constituency in Samtse, he is determined vote on Thursday.
Uttary is about 11km from Samtse town towards Dorokha. A small farm road connects the village to the Samtse-Dorokha highway.
Along with him, four of his five daughters will also vote.
“They are all in Thimphu and Wangdue,” he said.
Bhansingh Ghalley said his children would vote, celebrate Dassain festival, and then return.
Bhansingh Ghalley said electricity, water, and road were the needs that Uttaray have but should reach to other places that do not have them. That, he thinks, should be the focus of the new government, whichever party comes to the power.
In the primary round of election, in terms of the voter turnout, Samtse saw a total of 28,568 voters – 60.3 percent of total 47,360 registered voters.
With the Dassain after the poll day, the people of Samtse are expecting their family members from across the country to come home for reunion of a sort.
From Uttaray too, Hemraj Gurung, 75, was in his farm yesterday. He expects more people in the villages this time round. “This is the time for the big vote,” he said. “I voted in the primary; I cannot miss this one.”
Phuentsholpelri-Samtse constituency has Ganesh Ghimiray from Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) and Kamal Dhan Chamling from Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT). In the primary, it was the People’s Democratic Party that won in the constituency. DNT and Bhutan Kyuen-Nyam Party stood second and third. DPT secured the lowest votes from the constituency.
Hemraj Gurung does not know the candidates’ full name but knows the candidates from the “phool (flower) party” and a Rai from “chara (bird) party.”
Samtse’s DNT coordinator, Baliraj Gurung, said the party could win in all four the constituencies in the dzongkhag, by about 80 percent. The status is same for Ugyentse-Yoeseltse constituency, he added.
Dophuchen-Tading was DPT’s in the primary. However, DNT hopes to win in the constituency this time round. “It was a tough contest here, but after the president’s visit the status has changed,” Baliraj Gurung said.
DPT’s coordinator, Phub Nidup, also said the party stood a chance to in all constituencies.
“Now, people know our candidates,” he said, adding that DPT had 60 percent chance to win in all the four constituencies.
DPT candidate said the party could take almost 80 percent votes from Dophuchen-Tading.
Phub Nidup said DPT could win 70 percent of votes from Ugyentse-Yoeseltse although DNT won in the constituency in primary. He said DPT you could win in Tashichholing constituency by more or less same percentage of votes.
Rajesh Rai | Samtse