Politics is not an open topic of discussion in Samtse town. With the ongoing town construction and a dull weather, there are also not many people in the town.
Yet Samtse is the most important dzongkhag, after Trashigang because of its 47,360 registered voters. Winning Samtse is significant for all parties.
If president visits were anything to go by, Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) president Neten Zangmo did not come to Samtse during the campaign period. But she had been in Samtse during her familiarisation tour.
People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) president Tshering Tobgay has covered all 15 gewogs of Samtse that covers four constituencies.
Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) president Lotay Tshering covered five places recently and covered all the constituencies.
Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) president visited the Dophuchen-Tading constituency but did not visit other areas in other three constituencies. However, DPT vice president Lily Wangchuk was in Samtse since yesterday.
Meanwhile, party coordinators were busy yesterday campaiging in different parts of Samtse. When contacted, they said their party would make it through the primary round.
DPT coordinator in Samtse, Phub Nidup said the party’s objective and vision added by the president’s capacity and deliverance would succeed in getting through the primary round.
“We are doing door-to-door campaign and we don’t think we will have a bad result,” Phub Nidup said.
Samtse’s BKP coordinator, Bhuwan Singh Ghalley said their party would garner at least 55 percent of the votes in the primary round.
“We are hopeful we will make it to the general round,” he said.
Although the weather is unfavourable, Bhuwan Singh Ghalley said they are still trying their best. But the party is doing everything as per the rule, the coordinator said.
DNT coordinator in Samtse, Bali Raj Gurung said he was busy with the campaign and couldn’t talk to Kuensel. Later, his phone was switched off.
The PDP coordinator Norbu Tshering was relaxed and monitoring his building construction yesterday.
On the growing popularity of other parties, he said, all party supporters would say the same thing.
“There are four parties and none will say they will lose,” he said.
However, PDP he said had incumbency factor. But more than that, it is visible for the people to see the changes between 2008-2013 and 2013-2018.
Samtse residents say that anything can happen. Some say it would be DNT and PDP, some say it would be DPT and PDP, while there are also some who say it would be BKP and DNT that would make it to the general round.
A businessman in Samtse, an ardent political observer, requested anonymity and said Samtse’s situation is changing.
“It was a PDP stronghold,” he said. “But then with the coming of new parties and their attractive manifesto, people are thinking to cross over.” The businessman also said he would like to go for a change.
Rajesh Rai | Samtse