Everybody deserves a second chance, even in politics. And in the case of a bunch of former NC contenders, a second chance presented itself with the upcoming primary rounds of National Assembly (NA) elections.
The former NC contenders now have the option to jump ships, from an apolitical election race to a political one, after they couldn’t make it in the upper house elections held in 23 April.
The feeling could, more or less, be that of mutual benefit, as the newly formed political parties have had a dearth of candidates joining them since the beginning of the 2013 race. They have more than willingly approached or taken-in the former NC-aspirants.
The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) has the maximum number of former NC contenders joining the party, at six, followed by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with four, and one former NC-aspirant has joined the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT).
DCT’s former NC contenders and now turned NA candidates are, Yeshey Dorji (Khamed, Gasa), Pema Wangchuk (Nanong-Shumar, Pemagatshel) Namgay Dorji (Kabji-Talo, Punakha), Sangay Tamang (Sergithang-Tsirangtoe, Tsirang), Ugyen Tshering (Lamgong-Wangchang, Paro) and Chador Namgay (Athang-Thedtsho, Wangduephodrang).
Talking to some of the NC contenders, Sangay Tamang who will be contesting from Sergithang-Tsirangtoe said he stood for the people while contesting in the NC elections, and this time too, he will stand up for the people. He said his main intention is to serve, and not for money or fame motive, but to represent the people.
“I just want to give a raise up to innocent people since the philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) itself says happiness is when everyone is happy,” he added. “Since NC is a rule-making body and cannot focus on developmental activities, this is what NA can do and through it I want to serve the people better.”
Another former NC-aspirant and the current DCT candidate Namgay Dorji, 31, said being a young candidate, he is standing in for the youth. “I want to make people know that we can also serve the people,” he said.
Though he was offered a candidature by other parties, he chose DCT because of its ideologies and manifesto.
Pema Wangchuk, the DCT candidate and former NC aspirant from Nanong-Shumar constituency said he also had an offer from PDP, and he felt that it would be a second chance for him to serve the people in a better way. Therefore he decided to join the NA politics.
PDP has four candidates who were former NC contenders, Tshewang Jurmey from Chhumey-Ura, Novin Darlami from Tsirang, Ugyen Tshering from Paro and Sherab Jamtsho from Samdrup Jongkhar.
Novin Darlami, former NC contender from Tsirang wanted to give himself a second chance and he got it as a PDP candidate.
He said the only difference this time is that there will be less campaign period, and coverage will be less since he has to cover only six gewogs, and the coverage he thinks, will be effective this time, which will allow him to do a better job this time around.
“I am positive this time,” said Novin.
Contesting from Nganglam, Pemagatshel is Sherab Jamtsho, 29-year-old who stood for the NC elections in April. “I have gained little more confidence that I can do better this time,” he said.
The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has one former NC contender who will contest from Khatoed in Gasa.
The former NC aspirant who joined DNT, Tenzin said, “People at my place found me capable enough to take the grassroots level issues to the national level since I served as a Gewog Administration Officer (GAO).”
He said of all the parties, he joined DNT because of its candidates, who according to him are experienced, knowledgeable, capable and corruption-free. He said he was most attracted by the party’s manifesto and ideology.