… BTP launches its campaign from South Thimphu

Dechen Dolkar

Bhutan Tendrel’s (BTP) South Thimphu candidate, Tandin Tshering, will be one of the ministers if the party wins the 2023-2024 parliamentary elections.

This was made public yesterday as BTP kicked off its formal campaign from Maedwang gewog yesterday. The party president, Pema Chewang who was accompanied by their South-Thimphu candidate, Tandin Tshering, said that although BTP is a new political party, the candidates are experienced, with many having held executive positions during their career in the civil service.

The battle for the South-Thimphu constituency will be fierce with former prime minister Dr Lotay Tshering, former Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee and former National Council member, Tshewang Rinzin all vying for a seat in the Parliament.

But this is not deterring Tandin Tshering who is confident. Tandin Tshering said that he resigned from the post as secretary to serve the people. “I believe that I don’t need to gain separate merits if I can serve the people through politics,” he said at the gathering attended by maedwang gewog people.

Tandin Tshering also derives his confidence from the party president who he said resigned from the post of secretary to lead a political party with the sole intention of serving the people by bringing systematic changes in the country.

The voter, 45, from Maedwang gewog said that the gewog has been neglected as it is on the outskirts of the Thimphu thromde and considered a part of the thromde, missing development activities.” Many people in the gewog live from hand to mouth, with many farmers relying on income from selling vegetables and roasted maize along the highway.

Strict rules imposed by the dzongkhag such as not allowing selling vegetables or requiring vendors to carry them back home every morning and evening, he said, have created hardships for farmers.

Potential voters who attended the campaign expressed their concerns about the restrictions and their impact on their businesses and livelihoods.

“The dzongkhag has issued a notification that from November 1, farmers are not allowed to sell roasted maize along the highway,” said a resident. Kuensel confirmed that farmers are allowed to sell only local produce and not imported packaged food or junk in the roadside sheds approved by the government

Voters also raised concerns about difficulties in exporting incense, obtaining loans from banks, and receiving approval for timber to construct houses in rural areas.

Pema Chewang assured the people that these challenges and restrictions would be addressed by his party if they were given the mandate of governance. He said that the party would make life easier for the people by lifting all restrictions that are hindering services and developments.

To the surprise of voters, the president announced a Nu 3,000 monthly universal basic income (phamai drinlen zurpho) pledge to senior citizens above 65 years. He also said that the party will also introduce one-time home loans to the general public in rural areas at concessional interest rates.

The president also said that the party would facilitate processing “dropped census cases” with the census department. “There are many issues where Bhutanese parents have missed registering their children within one year with the census department,” the president said.