Talk it out

The General Election results are a matter of concern given the regional divide. It is symptomatic of deeper issues that needs to be explored and addressed.

However, there already is a move towards not talking about it and pretending that nothing happened.

The regional divide was already there since the 2013 polls and it only seems to have gotten worse.

The voters from the east voted in large numbers for BTP as they were convinced that BTP would win and give them a Prime Minister from the east.

They thought this would resolve their developmental and other issues.

On the developmental front, it is not true at all that the east has not been given its fair share or resources and infrastructure.

There is no point comparing Thimphu to a remote hamlet in the east.

If one compares a remote village in the west to its counterpart in the east they will have similar facilities and drawbacks.

However, at the same time where the east is lagging behind in is the lack of economic activities that have to do with markets and the private sector.

This is primarily due to its unforgiving hilly terrain and its great distance from major towns or the border.

Efforts must be made to address this issue creatively.

The other issue at play is eastern identity and pride.

Eastern voters ask if the PM can be from the west for three terms then why not an eastern Prime Minister.

While this is a legitimate aspiration, the east must become more politically savvy. It can surely get an eastern Prime Minister the day he or she fits in more with the national politics narrative than just regional representation.

The east stuck loyally to one party rejected by rest for too long. It must be more practical and fleet footed to get its man or woman in the PMO.

“Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”

Mark Twain

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