LG: Kencho Namgay, 28, of Jawakha-Sewcula chiwog in Chubbu gewog, Punakha, was nicknamed Asha Gup in college. The nickname may stick if he is elected gup next month.

Kencho Namgay is one of two university graduates contesting for the post of gup in Punakha. Graduating in 2014 from the Royal Thimphu College with a degree in Dzongkha and English, Kencho aspires to bring change if he wins.

Kencho said he aspired to serve in local government since college and he hopes to set an example for other graduates and dropouts, and also inspire them to take part in the local government.

Kencho Namgay was nominated with 131 votes out of 187 cast at the chiwog zomdu held on August 24.

He will now contest against the former Chubu gup, Sonam Tobgay of Yebisa chiwog and a former policeman, Pem Tsheirng of Nidupchhu chiwog.


Kencho Namgay said that on completion of his studies, he started a hotel with his wife in Paro. He shifted his business to Samdingkha near Chubu gewog office four months ago at the suggestion of his supporters.

“I decided to take part after learning about the people’s support,” he said. “During college days I was called Asha Gup, and I used to take an interest in village and gewog matters.”

Since one of his opponents is a former gup, he said he is bit worried but still optimistic and hopeful.

“My aim is to serve the people with dedication and hard work, and to become a trust worthy local leader,” Kencho Namgay said. “After going through the local government Act, I feel my background qualification of being bilingual in Dzongkha and English, will be a useful tool.”

Kencho Namgay also aspires to contest for parliament in the future.

In Talo gewog, two university graduates contested for nomination and Namgay Tandin, 30, of Lunakha chiwog in Talo got through. Namgay Tandin completed his postgraduate diploma in civil engineering from Rajasthan in 2014.

He was the lone gup candidate from Lunakha chiwog, and was nominated securing 56 votes out of 61 cast. Namgay Tandin will be contesting with Rinzin Wangchuk from Talo, Pema from Nobgang and Dorji Wangchuk of Labtsakha chiwog.

“I decided to contest as no other job will provide us with such opportunity like that of serving at the local government,” said Namgay Tandin. “We would not just gain immense experience but also be able to serve the people in our community.”

Namgay Tandin said: “There are many literate people from my chiwog but none have ever participated in the local government election.” As a result, he has been encouraged to take part.

If elected, he said, he will be able to use his engineering background in implementing developmental activities.

Dawa Gyelmo | Punakha


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