The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) president said he understands the issues relating to the Shingkhar-Gorgan road better than anyone.

While campaigning in Tsenkhar and Minjey gewogs in Lhuentse yesterday, Pema Gyamtsho said DPT would take up the much-awaited Shingkhar-Gorgan road. “It entails a small change in law,” he said.

The party, he said cannot promise ministerial candidates at this point of time but should DPT form the government, he said all its candidates are capable. “The party’s executive committee will decide based on the people’s support while ensuring regional balance,” he said.

Others, he said has already distributed more than 11 ministers and that it is not a healthy trend. There is a misconstrued notion among the people that demkhongs with ministers relish greater development. “This is not true. We are Bhutanese first,” he said.

Having successfully completed the primaries, he said the supporters of Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party and People’s Democratic Party have joined the other two parties. This, he said is a good indication that everyone is participating in the elections, irrespective of whichever party they opt for.

“Be it DNT or DPT, both are parties born from Bhutanese soil,” he said.

Hitherto, he said the bigger responsibility falls on the people because it is easier for the parties to provide freebies and pledge things that are intended to lure voters.

With the onset of elections, he said parties claim themselves as humble and underprivileged (nyamchung) and in the process make people realise how poor they are.

“We must look back in the past where people wore torn ghos patched with all sorts of pattern and people hardly wore shoes,” he said adding that today there is none that could not afford to buy a cell phone and pay for a taxi fare.

Pema Gyamtsho said that the whole intent of becoming a self-reliant nation is defeated if we go backwards instead of forward. “While it is the responsibility of the government to generate huge revenue, people must play their part,” he said.

He said that the whole idea why Drukgyel Zhipa initiated the Chukha and Tala hydropower projects was to make the nation stand on its own feet economically. This, he added is exactly what DPT aims for by building more hydropower projects and simultaneously diversifying the economy by promoting tourism and agriculture.

Tshering Dorji | Lhuentse