It’s spring, the time when Laya residents return home after their two months stay in Punakha.

The highlanders, who rely on rations transported from lower areas, are busy ferrying the rations, fodders and household appliances from the nearest road head in Koina. They stock rations to last them a year.

They however took out time to gather at the gewog centre on March 8 to attend the nomination meeting for the lone National Council (NC) aspirant, Dorji Khandu. He worked as a civil engineer and also as a proprietor of Dragon Engineering and Construction.

As people queued to cast their vote, many tried to break the line, citing the need to go to Koina, which is a four hour walk from the villages, to pick up their goods.

Some voters, who were confused with the voter photo identity cards (VPIC), inquired officials.

A voter, Phurpa Tshering, was carrying two VPICs and said he wanted to know whether the card was valid. “I am worried they might send me back after waiting for so long.”

The nomination meeting saw two voters, who shifted their census to Punakha also coming to cast vote.

Lhamo said the development of the gewog depends on the candidate. “He or she should be strong and capable,” she said.

Dorji Khandu was nominated after securing 295 yes votes and 23 no votes.

Laya gewog, with 686 eligible voters, has the highest registered voters in Gasa. About 48 percent of the total voters turned out to vote at the gewog nomination.

On March 6, about 50 percent of the 497 registered voters turned up to vote at the Khamed gewog dhamngoi zomdu held at Bjishong Central School.

Despite favourable weather, the voters reached the polling station by 10am. The voters who reached the polling station early had to go back home to collect the new VPIC card.

The former Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s Khamed-Lunana candidate, Kinley Dorji, was nominated with 163 yes votes.

The nomination meeting for Lunana gewog will be conducted on March 12. The gewog has no NC aspirant so far. Lunana gewog has the second highest registered voters after Laya gewog.

Nima |  Gasa