If the people from the Lhop (Doya) villages of Dophuchen (Dorokha), Samtse are less active in the ongoing politics, it is because cardamom-harvesting season is at its peak. And many seem to have already decided which party to vote for on October 18.

However, they do not have, never had, a representative from the community and expect younger generations to take lead in future.

A shopkeeper, Jamten Doya, 52, from one of the Lhop villages, Singye, said population in the community has increased and that there were more educated people today.

“However, it will take some time for someone to come forward and participate in the politics,” he said.

Another villager, Sonam Tshering Doya of Jigme village said there is possibility for the Lhops to participate as political candidates in the future.

“We also want to see candidates from our community,” he said, adding that there were some Lhops who had done masters degree and capable to contest.

“Our children are there working in different areas across the country. We expect them to come and participate in the political processes.”

However, it would take at least another 15 years, Sonam Tshering said. For an individual to be ready to participate, he said financial stability was one of the primary requirements.

Sonam Tshering said financial stability was essential because a candidate would have to keep room for self-sustenance, if not elected in the elections.

Meanwhile, the Lhops of Samtse have marked Shengdhen farm road and cardamom market as two major issues they want the new government to improve. Shengdhen farm road is about five to eight km from Sangoori on the Samtse-Dorokha highway.

Pem Tshering Doya, 25, a driver, said bad roads damaged vehicles. A proper base course would solve many of the problems, he added.

Strengthening the cardamom market is another area that the Lhops expecting from the new government. The crop’s price has dropped drastically and for the Lhops cardamom is the primary source of income.

Doyi Tshering is among the Lhops busy in the fields harvesting this season. He said most Lhops depended on cardamom.

“The new government must do something to improve the cardamom market.”

Lhops also told Kuensel that cardamom growers were too much dependent on the traders across the border. New government should help improve the market for growers and reduce the dependency for trading.

Lhops live in the villages of Jigme, Singye, Wangchuck, Satakha, Sanglung, and Shengdhen. These villages fall under Dophuchen-Tading constituency in Samtse that have one of the highest voters across the country.

Thakur Singh Powdyel and Loknath Sharma are busy wooing the voters.

Rajesh Rai | Dorokha