Starting from Tading gewog, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Tshering Tobgay yesterday completed his campaign in Samtse after meeting the people of Phuentshogpelri (Gomtu).

PDP won all the four constituencies in 2013.

The party has however, changed the candidates for Ugyentse-Yoeseltse and Tashichhoeling constituency this election.

From roads to tourism and increased development funds, Tshering Tobgay presented to the people the party promises in Lhotshamkha in all the 14 gewogs.

Beyond party manifesto, a prominent announcement was that PDP had 43 “very strong” candidates out of the 47 demkhongs.

Talking to people of Tashichhoeling and Pemaling gewogs on August 30, PDP president said that not all the candidates would be good. “The party discussed and replaced 15 candidates this time.”

He said it is not possible to have all good candidates. “But of the 47, 43 are excellent candidates.”

PDP president declared to a crowd of more than 150 people that Sangay Khandu of Tashichhoeling gewog is one of them.

He said it was necessary to change the candidates when people say that they would support the party but not the candidates.

“If people said an MP was not visiting the constituencies and did not understand the problems people had, it was necessary to change,” Tshering Tobgay said. “This party is not mine. PDP is people’s party.”

In Tashichhoeling constituency, Sangay Khandu, was given a party ticket after replacing Rituraj Chhetri.

PDP president Tshering Tobgay said he couldn’t leave Sangay Khandu because he had the capacity to function as the bridge between people and the government.

Tashichhoeling has 12,966 voters in the electoral roll the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) released.

Dophuchen-Tading has the highest with 13,231 eligible voters.

Meanwhile, some people in Yoeseltse gewog of Ugyentse-Yoeseltse constituency said it would be better if people were provided time to ask questions and raise issues after meeting the PDP president

A farmer in Yoeseltse, Pradip Subba, said it was a good opportunity to listen to the president. “But it would be better if we were allowed to raise our concerns and problems.”

He said they also needed some time to talk to the president.

Highlighting the increase of gewog development grant to Nu 5 million (M), base course work on farm roads and enhancing farming through various means, Narayan Dahal, another Yoeseltse resident said that PDP manifesto was good and inclusive of all important needs in the grassroots.

“Now, people have to listen to other party presidents,” he said.

A resident, Amrit Subba, meanwhile, said that although providing an excavator each to a gewog was a good idea and would help people at large, it would still affect the few who already have excavators and provide private services.

“I have an excavator,” he said, adding that he had bought it after availing a loan. “My business would be affected.”

Amrit Subba said he would like to understand and know if there would be certain constructive mechanisms on providing excavators without damaging the level-playing field for the private players in the gewog level.

Rajesh Rai | Sipsu