DPT would probably not have made it to the general round without the huge victory margins in Pemagatshel’s three constituencies making it DPT’s strongest base in the east.
Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) President Lotay Tshering wants to change this and met with the people of Pemagatshel on 26 September and made pledges on various issues needed in the dzongkhag. He also announced to the gathering that, if DNT forms the government, Pemagatshel will receive the top priority, care and attention.
He also shared with the gathering on why he is focusing on the 6 eastern dzongkhags, even as he has better opportunities to win from other constituencies. He thanked the people for their support and for the good turnout.
He pointed out that Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) secured 1,000 plus votes from the three constituencies in Pemagatshel. None of the other parties could do that, he said, which indicates how strong DPT candidates are from Pemagatshel.
He said DNT won from 25 constituencies (16 DNT first place and 9 DNT second place after PDP) while DPT from 22 constituencies in the primary round of election. From the constituencies DNT won, there are differences of 1,000 votes and this has made it easy for DNT to form the government. “We need only four to five constituencies to form a government, and we have the hope to get that as per our calculation,” he added.
Lotay Tshering said, “We want to win as a country and not as an individual party. Not having representatives from eastern dzongkhags will be disheartening, even if we win, and this is why I took a risk of losing from other winning constituencies so as to have representatives from east in the Parliament.”
In addition, he said that he will be more than happy to lose overall if they can win three to four constituencies from eastern dzongkhags. He said that if DNT is just to win then there is no need for them to visit Pemagatshel which has only three constituencies.
“I can win from other possible winning constituency, but we want to win as a whole, and I want to convey the message which is within me,” he added.
He said that, throughout the elections, starting from 2008 until primary round of 2018 election, people of Pemagatshel are in favor of DPT, and which is of concern as this may pass a wrong message to others in the country.
“We should not be loyal to the same party always. With time, we need to change and looking at primary round result of Pemagatshel, I feel that people of Pemagatshel see DPT as the only party, which is disheartening,” he added.
He said that Pemagatshel is an important dzongkhag, and there is a need for better development, adding, “It’s been 10 years since democracy came into place, and it is high time people should think if Pemagatshel dzongkhag had any major developments like other dzongkhags.”
He also said that if they continue with supporting the same party then there is a chance that they may not have a capable candidate in the future due to complacency on the part of the candidate.
DNT President said all the three DNT candidates from Pemagatshel are strong, capable and have the ability to bring changes in the dzongkhag, and have the potential to hold a title in the Parliament.
As per the Constitution, there can be only have 2 ministers from each dzongkhag, and therefore, the third candidate can take the post of the Speaker, he said.
He said Karma Dorji from Nanglam, Tenzin Lekphell from Bartsham-Shongphu and Dr. Tandin Dorji from Lingmukha-Toedwang are like parents of DNT. “Three of them including myself will decide who the capable candidates are for ministers and for which ministry. We also feel that the Speaker can be from Pemagatshel. However, decision is with the people,” he added.
“If not given the opportunity then don’t blame us in future,” he added and further said, “I am talking as a Bhutanese and not as a politician. If we commit mistake knowingly then nothing can be changed, and therefore, as far as possible, we need to address everything at the very start.”
DNT President also talked on importance of having a hospital in Pemagatshel. He said that people are more aware of the importance of health, and by listening to DNT pledges, people are now voting for DNT.
“Our pledges are to help rural people by bridging a gap through better health facilities, opportunity to study until class XII, address water issue and paying wage to rural mother for six months,” he added.
However, looking at primary round result, he said, some people did not consider the DNT pledges and how capable the candidates are. Thereby, he said that, if they are going to hold onto the same party then they are not going to get any benefit.
“If DNT is given a chance, we will give priority to Pemagatshel dzongkhag and blacktop the existing farm roads. We will also blacktop and do necessary maintenance of the Tselingor-Pemagatshel highway, whereby heavy vehicles with loads can ply smoothly,” he added.
“Of the three party founders, two are from east, and thereby it’s high time to think to make a right choice,” he said. He also pledged to provide facilities for blood and urine testing, ultrasound and endoscopy in all the gewogs.
He also said that, they will send one gynecologist and a surgeon to the dzongkhag hospital by January 2019. While, medical specialist and pediatricians will be sent at a later time, he added. He also said that he will visit them once or twice a year to discuss on any issues and solutions to it.
He said that, even if they lose, they will give their best to bring development in the dzongkhag as the Opposition party. “Our two candidates have served as Secretaries and one is a party founder and they are trying every possible way to get a chance to serve their people in many ways. This is the best chance people should not waste, and this kind of better opportunity may not come to people of Pemagatshel in future,” he added.
He also said that there are differences between ruling government and opposition party, and one will know the difference once put into practice, and more development will take place if there are ministers from the dzongkhag.
He also said that DPT questioned DNT during debate on the cut-off point of class X and doing away with examination until class VI as being against the Constitution. “Nevertheless, there is nothing as such mentioned in Constitution,” he said and it just mentions that free education should be given until class X.
“We are not saying those pledges just for the votes, we are saying because we can do it and we came up with the pledges after so much of homework,” he said.