Generally speaking, the DNT government has been given credit for being smart in the way it approached a host of issues -including the recent the pay hike.
However, trust a smart person or in this case -the government to make some basic but fundamental errors.
The government may not have realized it yet, but its ad-hoc decision to pull Zhemgang out of the four focus Dzongkhags for the tourism flagship program and replace it with Sarpang will have widespread implications.
The 2013 elections brought forth the issue of regional or identify politics center stage, and it became clear that certain regions were voting based on identity as one of the main issues.
The DNT while wining big in the west and south failed to make any major inroads into the east and center of Bhutan that remained a DPT stronghold.
With such a divisive trend in national politics, in the way regions voted, the duty of both the ruling and opposition parties is to try and heal this political divide.
There was already a positive precedent set in the past when both the DPT and PDP governments paid equal attention to even opposition areas, as acknowledged by the Opposition party.
However, the DNT government’s public and clumsy efforts to take a major project away from Zhemgang to Sarpang is increasingly being seen as a political move by the Opposition and other observers.
The message going out, unintended as it maybe, is that since the DNT has no hope of winning from a certain region it will focus more on areas where it has a better chance.
There are those, including in the Opposition, who feel that an entire Dzongkhag is being punished just to teach a vocal MP a ‘lesson’ of sorts.
The big danger from the Zhemgang move is a perception that the ruling government will ignore certain regions of the country where it thinks it has no political future.
Whatever, the intention of the government there is still time to undo this national damage by rolling back the Zhemgang decision or at least providing Sarpang with additional budget.
“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”