Backed by more than two decades of service with the State Trading Corporation of Bhutan Limited (STCBL) Karma Gyeltshen, 44 popular among friends as Dotula retired from his post as general manager with STCBL in October this year to contest for a seat in the upper house of parliament.
“My reason to contest in the 2013 NC elections is largely because of requests from people of my Gewog after having heard that the incumbent NC Kesang Namgyal decided not to re-contest for the 2013 NC elections,” Karma Gyeltshen told this paper.
“People of my Gewog feel that I would be an ideal candidate to represent them at the highest legislative body of the country so that their concerns and grievances are heard through me as their representative as I myself have grown up in the village. And I know the kind of hardship and endurance that we all go through,” he added.
In 1986, Karma finished Class VIII from Trashigang Junior High School to pursue mechanical engineering at the Royal Technical Institute in Rinchending, Phuentsholing.
Karma joined STCBL in 1990, completed his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Royal Bhutan Polytechnic in Dewathang, Samdrup Jongkhar while in service. Later, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree from SSM College of Science and Arts in Tamil Nadu, India owing to which he couldn’t take part in the first parliamentary elections in 2008.
Karma is also a recipient of a certificate awarded by Toyota Motor Corporation for having successfully mastered the basic philosophy and practices of the “Toyota Way in Sales and Marketing” in Tokyo, Japan in July this year.
Asked why he decided to contest for NC, Karma, said “I could think no other options then to honour the faith & trust entrusted on me by my people and I am sure with my full conviction I would be able to deliver and live up to the expectation of the people of Trashiyangtse.”
On the current economic situation of the nation, Karma said the Rupee shortfall and various issues faced is no secret. “The crisis as we know and as has been amply discussed, warranted forethought from all spheres concerned. However, we cannot overrule traces of complacency at levels that required proactive handling of issues. But the rough waters have been waded through. The situation should reverse in a very short notice. With time we can not only see things on track, but also on the right track. A short term crisis is no big reason for the populace to be panicky. It should be taken as an indication for brighter tomorrow,” he said.
As an aspirant NC candidate, number one on Karma’s list is to promise and deliver to the people of his Dzongkhag, “only feasible agendas based on the responsibilities empowered as enshrined by the Constitution.”
He said, after 2008 people are now cognizant about ‘who can do what’ towards development of their village. “Therefore, the only feasible agendas I would like to advocate during my campaign to the people of my Dzongkhag is to refine the existing Laws if required depending upon the situation or to ensure any new Laws to be implemented or endorsed in best interests of the people and the nation, to follow up any unattended development works which are left through oversight by the government, to act as representative on the behalf of the people of Trashiyangtse and create a conducive atmosphere and mutual understanding between the government and its people on policy matters.”
If no other aspirants come forward, Karma will contest alongside Tashi Phuntsho, 40, from Yalang Gewog in the same Dzongkhag, who worked in the education ministry for 17 years as a teacher, vice principal, principal and education monitoring officer.