Mix of matured experience and youthful energy in 9 candidates from Samtse

BN Bhattarai

BN Bhattarai, 51, is from Sang Ngag Choeling gewog. He voluntarily resigned in 2013, having served as a Specialist in Extension with the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. He has 32 years of work experience focused mainly on land conversion, land use, resettlement and disaster program besides information management, human resource management, plans and budget.

He has also been part of World Bank’s Sustainable Land Management Project, Decentralized Rural Development Project and EU-ASSP project in Bhutan. He was also a project manager and a Climate Smart Agriculture Specialist in SNV, the Netherlands Development Organisation based in Thimphu for two years. He has a Master of Science degree in Tropical Agriculture Development from Reading University, UK and also BSc. Agriculture (Honours) from Bangladesh Agricultural University.

As an aspirant NC candidate, he said he wishes to promote integrity and security of the country, addressing the concerns and issues of the people, and creating job markets for the youth. He states, “With the experience in agriculture sector, I wish to review and develop land use and production system, building a fair marketing linkage and promote agro-based ecotourism.”

Chhatrapati Phuyel

51-year-old Chhatrapati Phuyel from Dorokha gewog has worked with Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) Corporation as a news editor, newsreader, program producer and presenter in the Lhotsham section from 2002 to 2007.

He holds a Master of Arts degree in Language, and BA (Honours) in Sanskrit from Banaras Hindu University. He has also completed a Diploma in Journalism.  It’s his third time contesting for the NC election.

Despite not getting through in the last two rounds, he is confident in his ability and intention of serving the people. He said, “I will also work on amending and enacting laws, making policies and plans that are relevant and applicable to all communities, while pursuing equal opportunity and facilities in local development projects.”

Narayan Dahal

Narayan Dahal, 40, from Yoeseltse holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and BA (Honours) in Economics. He worked for 16 years in Bank of Bhutan, in the private sector and finally as a farmer. “Above all, I feel I understand the need of people better as I have lived and worked with them as a farmer for past five years”.

If elected, he said, he would carry out the mandate of universal education till class 10. “This would be my foremost priority so that very citizen can reap the benefit of education”, he further added, “I shall strive to imbibe democratic values in the people and make sure to include everyone in the process.”

Ugyen Lama

Ugyen Lama, 29, from Tading gewog holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the College of Science and Technology. He worked for two years in a private construction company as a project engineer.

He said the issues of rural-urban migration need to be prioritized and solved. “This is coupled with unemployment, whereas if properly trained and educated, the youth could overhaul the farming production in the community, bringing about changes to themselves and food security in the country.”

If elected, he said his primary focus would be to bring inclusive growth in the community using rural livelihood enhancement through agricultural productivity

He added, “While I am relatively younger, in terms of age with the other contestants, I believe maturity doesn’t necessarily come with age, but with experience. I have also had a fair experience in being a leader establishing social work groups in my village and being a student representative in college days.”

Ngawang Nidup

Ngawang Nidup, 28, from Samtse Throm was a business manager prior to contesting for NC. He worked as a manager at the Le Meridien Hotel in Thimphu after graduating from Royal Thimphu College.

He said his candidature offers a new perspective and a platform for new ideas for the people of Samtse. “I have undertaken this journey with a realization and belief that every vote cast is a culmination of hopes, dreams and ambition of people, and that it translates into duties and responsibilities.”

Tirtha Man Rai

Tirtha Man Rai, 31, from Doongtoed gewog was a former teacher in Zhemgang. He holds Bachelor’s degree in Education from Samtse College of Education.

He said people should vote for him since he understands people at the grass-roots level as he represents one of the remotest gewog in Samtse. “I was really interested serve the people since my childhood days as I had a good leadership quality. I want to serve the people with heart more than the brain.”

Dhan Kumar Ghalley

Dhan Kumar Ghalley, 51, from Pemaling Gewog holds a Master’s degree in Education. He has 28 years of work experience as a teacher and school principal.

Apart from working as a teacher, he also worked as the Officiating Dzongkhag Education Officer in Trongsa and Wangduephodrang. He also served as the principal of Deki School, a private school, in Thimphu, from 2014 till November last year.

If elected, he said his priority would be in promoting extensive farming at a commercial level. “This will directly or indirectly help in economic development of a country,” further adding that he would, “Further strengthen the real concept of Gross National Happiness by serving the needs of the people effectively”.

Shadeo Rai

Shadeo Rai, 27, holds a Bachelor of Science degree. After graduating in 2016 from North Bengal University, he has been helping his parents in their farm.

The candidate has decided to set his priority areas after consultation with the public if he gets elected. He said he is confident of winning the election due to the sheer amount of support and encouragement he has been receiving from the people.

Samten Lepcha

Samten Lepcha, 35, holds Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. He worked as accountant in a private construction company for three years. He is currently has a business of his own in Samtse.

His primary focus is to address the unemployment issues and enhance rural development. He said, “Since cash crops are the main source of income in southern parts, I would like to let the people utilize government land with minimal tax application.”

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