With only two weeks left for the poll day and campaigning in full swing, people attending the common forum are confused with similar pledges of the four political parties.

Voters in Tsirang say pledges that are relevant to farmers are in the manifesto of all four parties but are planned and spelt out differently.

They say that the parties are equally competent with highly competitive ideologies.

One of the voters, Ram Bahadur Gazmeer, 63, said it is difficult to decide whom to vote for merely going by the pledges spelt out in the common forum he attended yesterday in Kilkhorthang-Mendrelgang constituency.

He said that while Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party’s (BKP) priority is making Bhutan self-reliant and corruption free, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) wants to narrow the gap between the rich and poor.

He said both are important for people at the grassroots.

“On the other hand, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) pledges about uplifting the economy of the country while People’s Democratic Party (PDP) would decentralise power to the local government through wangtse chirphel,” Ram Bahadur said.

He said that before attending the common forum, he had a party in mind but he now needs to weigh and filter their pledges to decide the best.

He said that he would also share what he learnt with the rest of his family members. There are three eligible voters in his family.

Another voter, RB Tamang, 60, pointed out that DNT pledges to provide social security and care for the older generation and PDP also pledges to initiate social security and pension schemes for senior citizens.

Another similar pledge he pointed out was irrigation facility.

He said BKP pledges to make 100 percent functional irrigation on the existing infrastructure and beyond. “On the same facility, DPT pledges to invest in irrigation schemes and bring all land suitable for irrigation under cultivation, and provide generous support for the provision of irrigation water.”

RB Tamang said there are many such similar pledges differently spelt out and equally important for them. “It confuses us to choose the right one.”

Meanwhile, there are voters who are concerned about who would win to form the government. They have detailed information about parties, their pledges and candidates.

There are also voters in Tsirang who are aware of four parties but not sure of the logos and candidates. “Let alone pledges, I’m yet to receive their pamphlets to recognise their logo. I was familiar with the logos in 2013 election but I don’t remember now,” Tshejay Dema, 49, said and burst into laughter.

She said that she would learn the details in the common forum and share with her five children who are eligible voters.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang