The party applauded DPT’s willingness to conduct the campaign appropriately henceforth and promised to do the same
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during a press conference at Kanglung, Trashigang yesterday afternoon expressed concerns over the revised LPG and Kerosene prices and its massive impact on all citizens. “If PDP forms the government, we will take this up with the GoI as our first priority, and resolve it within our first month in office,” Jigme Zangpo pledged on behalf of the party.
The PDP Party President Tshering Tobgay said, “It is a matter of huge concern that and we will make every effort to resolve this issue.”
The PDP also expressed concern over Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s (DPT) intervention on the sudden removal of subsidy and increase in LPG and Kerosene prices by the Government of India (GoI) which has more than doubled since July.
- PDP also responded to other recent press statements made by DPT earlier in the week.
PDP spokesperson and the Mongar constituency candidate Jigme Zangpo said such matters are strictly the affairs of the Interim Government, at this point of time, when the general elections are midway. “While DPT is concerned about the sudden withdrawal of subsidy and increase in fuel prices, we do not understand the need for all former ministers to cut short their election campaign and congregate in Thimphu,” he said.
Earlier in the week, on July 4, eight former ministers of the DPT and eight other candidates of the party had gathered in Thimphu after bringing their campaign in the east to an abrupt halt. The media learnt that they were rushing to the capital mainly to discuss the impact of the sudden withdrawal of subsidy on LPG and Kerosene by GoI, which was of greater concern than the campaign.
“Right now, as neither PDP nor DPT has any executive authority, such acts are not only ineffective, but further add to the confusion,” Jigme Zangpo said.
The PDP President said, “The fact that the previous DPT government had no idea that the subsidy was being lifted and came as a surprise indicates that DPT government was in the dark on India’s policies towards Bhutan and the DPT government did not know what was happening.”
He said that GoI never usually acts without consulting and considering Bhutan on such issues and the fact that DPT government had no idea of such an upcoming move spoke volumes.
With regard to Bhutan-India relations, the PDP spokesperson said PDP was forced to respond and to set the record straight after the DPT candidates started saying that relations were better than even prior to 2008, and that only DPT government could mobilize funds for the 11th five-year plan.
“In fact, this issue is widely discussed publicly in many forums including social media and international press. The Bhutan-India relations is mentioned in our manifesto as the cornerstone of our foreign policy. As such, we will be failing in our responsibility if we do not point out that Bhutan-India relations is not as strong as it’s being made out to be by DPT. The fact that there is no fund commitment for the 11th five-year plan and that subsidy on LPG and Kerosene has been withdrawn without prior knowledge of the earlier government is disturbing,” Jigme Zangpo said.
PDP conferred the party’s appreciation to DPT for their willingness to conduct the remaining days of campaign in a manner that makes people proud and that fulfills the hope and aspirations of the beloved Monarch.
“PDP has always been for that. In response to negative campaigning by DPT, in our June 26 media release, we said ‘at the end of the day, it’s not about PDP or DPT, but about every one of us, the people of Bhutan. Let us live up to the visions of our Kings, and let us be worthy of the responsibility of laying the foundations of democracy entrusted in us by our people,” spokesperson Jigme Zangpo said.
This comes in response to the DPT president Jigmi Y Thinley, who during the recent press conference at his residence appealed to all citizens to forgive the two parties for their failure to conduct the electoral process in a way that befitted the country’s culture and will conduct the rest of the electoral process in the most appropriate manner.
Jigme Zangpo said PDP is pleased that DPT accepts the need to clean up politics and happy that DPT regrets the way negative campaign was taking place during the last few weeks.
He added that PDP began its campaign by talking about the party’s own pledges and ideology of ‘Wangtse Chirpel’. He said, “Unfortunately, instead of talking of their own pledges, from day one of the general election campaign, DPT went on all out effort to criticize and mock our pledges. In addition, on national TV, they started making irresponsible and baseless allegations against PDP.”
Jigme Zangpo said PDP had no other option but to clarify the pledges and discuss the issues of national concern. “This has led to confusion among our people and they are upset. For that, we humbly apologize to our Tsa-Wa-Sum. We also welcome DPT’s undertaking to stop negative campaign,” he said.
PDP also vowed to conduct the remaining days of the campaign in the “most positive and civil way possible.” “Let us not say one thing and do the opposite in private. Let us stop lying, fear mongering, politics of regionalism, and political drama to hide the major issues facing our nation. Let us accept and discuss the issues of national concern like growing policy corruption, weak economy, unemployment, Rupee shortfall, unsustainable national debt, growing inequality, and the need to strengthen the democratic institutions like the Anti Corruption Commission and Media. Let us not distract the people from understanding the real issues through ‘political stunts’. Let us find common solution to build a better future for all,” Jigme Zangpo concluded.
“Democracy is a precious gift from our beloved Kings. We politicians, first and foremost, must treat it as such and keep it clean and sacred,” a press release from the party stated.