Public express concerns and seek clarifications

People of the Jomotshangkha-Martshala constituency raised questions and concerns, and submitted complaints to the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates during the public debates in the constituency on July 3.

The DPT candidate for the constituency is the former MP Norbu Wangzom. She has a bachelor in science from Sherubtse College and has worked as a temporary teacher before joining politics.

The PDP candidate is Pelzang Wangchuk. He has a master’s degree in resources management from the Netherland, and a post graduate degree in rural development. He was a manager of national project in the agriculture ministry (MoA) before joining politics.

A villager from Lauri gewog shared his views that he is not happy with some of the DPT promises made in 2008 as it failed to provide the gewog with access to power supply and road. Norbu Wangzom justified by saying that the road construction started since 2007,but there were lots of problem in doing so, as there was no proper plan and surveying of the area was difficult as the area passes through cliffs and rivers. About the power supply, she said that the target would be fulfilled soon.

The audience at the debate had also asked clarifications on the PDP’s ideology as they could not understand the concept of ‘Wangtse Chhirpel’ as it was already instated earlier by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. The party candidate was also asked about the requirement of high budget as mentioned in the PDP manifesto when there is a national debt to clear.

PDP’s Pelzang Wangchuk responded that they would give additional authority to the Local Government and restart schemes like Bhutan Lottery, export home made goods and strengthen the tourism sector to help meet the financial needs.

Regarding a query on the replacement of candidate in the constituency, he said that the former candidate had himself willingly backed out.

DPT candidate Norbu Wangzom said the peace and happiness of people is as important as the developmental activities. She promised a site at Motanga in Samdrup Jongkhar to be developed as an industrial estate at the soonest time possible, and promised a route between the Jomotshangkha and Samdrupcholing to be complete soon, if DPT makes it through the election.

She pledged to build a hospital and petrol pump each in the Jomotshangkha and Samdrupcholing gewogs, to construct road and supply electricity in Lauri gewog. Regarding the maintenance of the farm roads carried out by the villagers, she said that government will take over the responsibility. She also promised to renovate the lhakhangs and hindu temples and build new ones as well.

Norbu Wangzom also explained the recent hike in the price of LPG and Kerosene saying it is due to problems in India as their economy is not doing well.

Pelzang Wangchuk, in his address, labeled the DPT as a government failing in various areas like, Rupee crisis, corruption cases, discontinuing of bank loans, and deficit in national account and the recent hike in the prices of Kerosene and LPG.

Pelzang Wangchuk assured people that PDP will appoint a group of expert to formulate developmental activities, and complete access to power supply in six dzongkhags of eastern Bhutan as early as possible. He also promised that the highway toward the capital from Samdrup Jongkhar via Trashigang will be widened into an expressway.

The constituency has 9,566 eligible voters.

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