With the by-elections for Chukha set for April 18, two chiwogs in Chukha are likely to go without tshogpas (village representative) again.

No one from Phuentsholing Maed and Darga-Tshebji of Getena gewog filed in their nominations on March 30.

The returning officer, Ugyen Choden, said that while there were interested candidates, they withdrew at the last minute. “The candidates also did not have complete documents.”

Phuentsholing Maed is the core town area and it is the most critical for development activities.

It has been more than a year now that the thromde did not conduct its tshogde. Only one tshogde was conducted after the thromde elections, which was just to fulfill the election rules that require a tshogde to be conducted within 30 days after elections are over.

The thromde also did not have tshogpas from Rinchending and Pekharzing demkhongs. However, there are candidates from these two constituencies now.

Meanwhile, Phuentsholing thrompon, Uttar Kumar Rai, said that the news of not having a candidate from Phuentsholing Maed was “upsetting.”

“It is the heart of the thromde,” he said, adding that implementation of many activities would be left out without a tshogpa in this chiwog. “A tshogpa is the bridge between us and the people.”

Thrompon Uttar Kumar Rai also said that there are so many development ongoing activities in Phuentsholing Maed that requires endorsement and planning.

He said that although the thromde tshogde would be conducted if there are five members out of six, it would still be a problem with Phuentsholing Maed constituency lacking a tshogpa.

He said that thromde can plan and outline development areas but it is the people’s decision at the end to decide what they want. “Public should know and choose what they want.”

Former tshogpa of Phuentsholing Maed, Karma Chen said that it was unfortunate that there was not a single candidate for the most important post.

“Tshogpas play an important role during events, health hazards, cleaning campaigns,” he said.

In Getena, gup Kinley said that it has been a problem for the gewog without a tshogpa in Darga-Tshebji chiwog. “Major problems arise when distributing seeds and saplings,” he said.

Gup Kinley said it would not be fair if some people do not receive their share. “As of now Getena gewog office is managing with support from some volunteers.”

Darga-Tshebji is the farthest chiwog from the gewog centre. It is also the chiwog that has the lowest mobile network connectivity.

The gup said many meetings and information are missed when there is no tshogpa.

Meanwhile, Rinchending and Pekharzhing chiwogs under Phuentsholing thromde have two tshogpa candidates each now.

Former tshogpas, Tshering Wangdi of Rinchending and Tirtha Maya Mongar of Pekharzing are contesting again.

A lone candidate is contesting for Dilibkha-Lamjokha chiwog tshogpa in Geling gewog.

Chukha Dzongdag Pemba Wangchuk briefed the candidates about the “dos and don’ts during the candidates’ meeting yesterday in Phuentsholing.

Although the campaign period started from April 2, it is likely the candidates would start campaigning from today.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing