Former DPT minister and ex-PDP candidate talk about why they switched parties

Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s (DPT) former candidate and communication minister, Nandalal Rai from Shompangkha constituency in Sarpang has long declared his will to contest for the upcoming third parliamentary election for National Assembly as a candidate of the People’s Democratic Party.

Similarly, Tshering Choden, who was a former PDP candidate during the first parliamentary election in 2008, has declared her candidature with DPT from Khar-Yurung constituency in Pemagatshel.

PDP’s Nandalal Rai from Shompangkha constituency in Sarpang

The former communication minster said that there are plenty of reasons for joining PDP as people have faith and trust in the party. “Previously I served through a platform called DPT and I think it was a wonderful platform, but certain ‘events’ took place along the way that wasn’t up to my personal belief of serving the King, Country and People,” said Nandalal Rai. On enquiring if he would like to specify, he said that it was unnecessary as the ‘event’ was for everyone to witness and judge.

“Along the way, I was not very content and very happy and I couldn’t continue with the platform. So, I’m now on board with PDP which is truly serving the Tsa-Wa-Sum. In order to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum, it is more important to look at how the plans are being implemented on the ground than just lip service,” said Nandalal Rai.

“We should not just judge a party just by the pledges, we have to look at their performances over the five years and PDP has even initiated bigger projects that weren’t part of their pledges. Given the opportunity again, PDP will fulfill all the ongoing projects and I believe that the party will go beyond and above to serve the nation,” said Nandalal.

He said that when other parties approached him earlier, he wasn’t planning on joining politics again. “The parties kept approaching me and the dialogues continued from 2013 till last year. I offered to a political party that if I ever join politics I’ll give that particular party the preference. However, I admit that I had to swallow my words as I believed more in PDP’s ideology of decentralization, and the party’s unfailing commitment to serve the King was in line with my own belief and so I decided to join as a candidate of PDP.”

He said that he resigned from his former party on a civilized term and there are no qualms whatsoever. “We can’t have a divided society based on political lines and I don’t believe that politics is dirty. But there are some politicians pursuing unethical means and that’s how the dirt gets spread around. PDP is different,” he said.

As a former experienced politician who held a ministerial position, Nandalal said that both DPT and PDP performed well.

“However, without the service to our Monarchy, we cannot move an inch. We have to judge for ourselves, how the two parties have delivered on the ground, which makes all the difference,” said Nandalal Rai.

DPT’s Tshering Choden for Khar-Yurung in Pemagatshel

Tshering Choden said that she wasn’t ready to join politics when she joined PDP during the first parliamentary election in 2008 as the party didn’t have any candidate coming forth from her constituency.

She took a break from politics during the second parliamentary elections and she said that three political parties had approached her for the upcoming election.

“Even PDP approached me, but they were screening other candidates too and I was kept waiting for quite some time without finalizing my candidature although they assured me from time to time that I’ll be selected. Since the election is drawing near, I needed time for preparation if I fully plan on joining politics, so I accepted the offer by DPT. I liked their core value of equity and justice,” said Tshering Choden.

Tshering Choden said that prior to the first parliamentary election, her constituency was very underdeveloped and people struggled to make ends meet, but she said that DPT connected the villages around with roads, water, and electricity and ultimately contributed in the development of the nation by fulfilling the Gross National Happiness Goals, which she says is the main reason for her joining DPT.

She also reasoned that DPT believes in gender equality and encourages women to come forward to participate for an inclusive formulation of policies. “On top of that DPT has always been humble and the party believes in simplicity. I come from a humble background myself with a strong will to serve the country and I think DPT is the right platform,” she reasoned.

Tshering Choden also mentioned that the way a party approaches a candidate will also make a lot of difference in their decision. “PDP just had so many candidates to chose from and took time to finalize and the candidates were kept waiting with no assurance that they will be chosen,” she added.

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