Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) president Lotay Tshering was greeted with a lukewarm response at his meeting with the people of Drametse in Mongar.

Only about 30 people from Woongkhar, Shakhang and Bageng villages gathered for the meeting at the Drametse Central School multipurpose hall yesterday evening.

The hall was filled with more than 500 people when he had come for the presidential campaign before the primary elections.

DNT president said that his party could easily win 27 constituencies to form the government. However, those constituencies would be beyond Thrumshingla and not in the eastern part of the country going by the trend the voters voted in the primary elections.

He said that his party was concerned about this unhealthy trend.

“If we only wanted to win we can easily do that without even coming to the eastern dzongkhags but our intention is beyond that,” he said.

The country being divided by parties is only detrimental to the foundation of democracy, he said. “It’s like cancer and if it continues then the country will suffer.”

Lotay Tshering said that this round of election, people have to choose the best candidates and not go by the party. The blind support for the party could lead to wrong precedent.

Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, he said, will be sure of winning despite not having a good candidate and other parties would not field the best candidates knowing that they would lose any way.

“In the end, the people will lose as they would not get a candidate who can represent the people well,” he said.

Lotay Tshering gave an example of the voters of his constituency, South Thimphu. While they voted for the DPT candidate in the past two elections, they chose him this election although he could not attend the common forums and campaign well.

“This shows that they go by the merit of the candidates and not by the party,” he said. “We’re Bhutanese and let’s not be divided by parties.”

The DNT president also said that villagers were fed false information on his party’s pledges.

“Our pledges are doable,” he said, touching on how his party would narrow the gap with better access to health services, remove the five percent tax on mobile talk time, remove the class 10 cut off point, and paying mothers in rural areas until their children turn six months.

“We will work on the progress the People’s Democratic Party achieved so far and also implement the 12th Plan,” he said.

The party’s representative, Rinchen attributed the poor turnout to a change in schedule. “I think people are also busy with their work in the farms,” he said.

Penjor, 67 from Bageng agreed that it was time the people chose a different candidate this time.

“Our representative has served two terms and I think we should give the opportunity to someone else,” he said.

DNT president began his campaign in Mongar from Drametse in Drametse-Ngatshang constituency.

He completed his campaigns in Pemagatshel, Samdrupjongkhar, Trashigang, and Trashiyangtse to date.

He will continue his meetings in Balam and Chaskhar gewogs today and two other constituencies of Kengkhar-Weringla and Mongar over the next two days.

Tshering Palden | Drametse