The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) candidate of Nanong – Shumar Constituency, and the former Prime Minister Jigme Yozer Thinley shed light on all accusation booked against his party at the final common forum before the General elections.
Addressing the voters the former prime minister commenced expressing gratitude to the people for their faith and trust in DPT and for having bestowed the opportunity to rule country for the five years.
Narrating a few memorable moments in his life the DPT president shared that he had served the King, Country and People with utmost dedication and commitment. He said that in 2008 when DPT came into power, its members had to shoulder a perilous responsibility.
“Some question about what DPT has done,” said the DPT President. According to him, the DPT during its rule fulfilled people’s aspiration and met the pledges they made in 2008 which he claims was accomplished in three different parts.
The president said that the changes DPT brought are in tangible and an intangible form during the important transition period. He said DPT established a strong and vibrant democracy in the country which has set an example to the other countries.
Secondly the president said that DPT has strengthened the sovereignty of a country situated in a buffer zone between two big countries.
Thirdly the DPT president added that the DPT government has brought unity within the country, preserved and promoted culture and set up strong legislation in the country.
Clarifying to the people on the Bhutan-India relations, he said that the relationship between Bhutan and India has been further strengthened and will continue to get stronger. He added that during the DPT’s tenure the government of India had given lots of assistance to the country and he would hope for their continue supporting regardless of who gets to be the ruling government.
Offering his clarification on the accumulated national debt, the DPT candidate said the debt was incurred due to the construction of hydropower projects and farm roads. He said government has spent 54% of the budget for the construction of hydropower projects, construction of new schools and maintenance of existing old schools; 20% to reduce Rupee crisis, and 12% for rural electrification and setting up of the Dungsam cement plant.
Reading out the DPT’s Achievements, the former prime minister said that during DPT’s tenure the poverty rate had reduced from 23% to 12 % in 2012. This he said is by clearing farm roads, providing quality education, giving health facilities, education, telecommunications, agriculture and animal husbandry.
He finally said that the DPT’s mission to make Bhutan self sufficient by 2020.
Meanwhile the PDP’s candidate Pema Wangchuk pledged the voters based on the Wangtse Chirphel, which he say is all about empowering people for liberty, equality and prosperityby devolving power and authority.
He said such devolution will be done from the centre right to the people. He promised that if the party comes to power, it will be the people who will enjoy all powers and authority. The candidate said that the institutions ought to be strengthened. If strengthened, the LG could function independently with the minimal of assistance from the centre.
“To develop the country, Local government should be considered an important area to strengthen,” the PDP candidate added. Promising maximum autonomy to take decisions, he said PDP pledged to handover more powers to prioritize and even change developmental activities, recruit people and take administrative decisions.
Pema Wangchuk on behalf of his party pledged to solve the unemployment problem, promote and enhance private sector in the country, support civil servants, wipe out corruption and resolve the INR crunch.
Finally the candidate also questioned the DPT President on reports of the poor state of Indo-Bhutan relations and also on the former Prime Minister’s relationship with the Monarchy. The DPT President said that everything was fine and denied there were problems on both fronts.
The DPT President in defending himself made a factually incorrect statement. He claimed that an article in the Times of India highlighting the poor state of Indo-Bhutan relations was written by a Bhutanese who had worked in the paper before. The paper found that article had been written by two well known Indian Journalists Sachin Parashar and Sangay Datta who had also given their bylines in the article.