Given its high number of voters, Samtse is a crucial dzongkhag for all four political parties in the upcoming elections. It has 47,360 registered voters.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Tshering Tobgay is in Samtse since August 28. Yesterday, he met with the people of Samtse gewog, which falls under the Phuentshogpelri-Samtse constituency, a PDP stronghold in 2013.

Speaking in Lhotshamkha to a crowd of about 100, Tshering Tobgay reminded people of their responsibility as voters.

“Your responsibility is to vote; would you still vote for us if the country and people did not benefit,” he said. “You have to think before you vote.”

The president told the crowd not to vote blindly but to look at the manifesto to vote. Voters have to vote after seeing the pledges and contemplating if they are doable, he said, and explained not to vote if they thought the promises were not doable.

Highlighting the past five years, Tshering Tobgay said he would leave it to the people to judge the party’s achievements as the government.

“You voted us and we worked hard because it was our responsibility,” he said. “We cannot blow our own trumpet.”

He underlined the health sector and possibilities it would provide if it formed the government. A doctor in every BHU and two health assistants is possible, he said.

“Some question how we can have these many doctors?” he said, adding that many were sent for doctor training in the 11th Plan.

Some of the BHUs already have doctors, Tshering Tobgay said and that about 185 BHUs across the country need doctors.

The president also said the country would receive 50 doctors in a year and the country would have more than 200 doctors in four years. Further, MBBS course would begin at the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, which would mean more doctors.

Should PDP form the government, Samtse hospital would also be expanded, it was highlighted and specialists provided. Thimphu hospital would also be made into a super-specialty hospital. “Although I am pledging right now, works have already started,” he said.

A hospital for women and children and an eye hospital are already under construction. An ENT hospital is also under construction and Thailand is helping, he said.

Cancer treatment also has started but surgeries are yet to be done. For surgeries, help would be sought from the Indian government, PDP president said.

The PDP president also highlighted some of the pledges from the party manifesto that would be applicable and benefitting to people at the gewog level.

All the farm roads would be given base-course and repair works. To ensure the roads in the gewogs facilitate people, PDP would also provide each gewog an excavator machine so that the roads remain open all season.

It would increase gewog development grant to Nu 5 million from Nu 2M and allocate a gewog project worth Nu 20M.

The Samtse-Haa highway would also be blacktopped in two years with a bridge, which would open access to Samtse with Silliguri, India and provide more economic opportunities. Samtse would also be explored for tourism entry point, PDP pledged.

Rajesh Rai | Samtse