DPT begins campaign to woo south

As we gear up for the general round of the third parliamentary elections, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) have begun campaign from different parts of the country, especially from places which are not the party’s stronghold.

Accordingly, DNT president Lotay Tshering has begun campaign from the east, while DPT president Pema Gyamtsho has begun campaign from the south last week.

Pema Gyamtsho began campaign for the general round of the third parliamentary elections from Dagana by speaking to the congregation in Dagapela in Lhotsamkha on Monday.

The president said DPT was through the primary round and thanked the people of Dagana for their support and show of confidence in DPT.

“Even if the DPT couldn’t win from constituencies here, we are not sad. But now as just two parties will be contesting, what is important for people now is to assess party’s pledges and see whether they are for long-term or short-term,” he added.

En route to Dagana, Pema Gyamtsho met with the people of Sunkosh and told them that DPT will construct the Sunkosh Hydropower Project if they get the mandate to form the government. It was also shared that DPT aspired to execute at least three hydropower projects and revamp the national target of increasing the electricity generation capacity.

In a meeting on the next day with the people of Tseza and Kana gewogs in Dagana, the DPT president urged the people there to refrain from corrupt practices, such as taking bribes for votes and spreading false news and rumors about political parties.

“In a small country like ours, we have to strive for peace and harmony in sync with efforts to make our democracy a unique and vibrant one,” he advised.

Pema Gyamtsho also deliberated on the DNT’s pledge of doing away with the cut-off point for class X students, which he said will further deteriorate the quality of education in the country.

He added that every parent must think twice and understand whether or not such a pledge was good for the country’s children and for the nation. Instead, he said DPT will allow one-time disqualified students of class X and XII to repeat as regular students.

Similarly, on the DNT’s pledges of providing free WiFi, Pema Gyamtsho said we need to think about resources and sustainability.

“More importantly, we need to question ourselves whether or not WiFi is the priority at the moment,” he said, adding that even the governments in most developed countries don’t provide free WiFi everywhere and that their party manifesto states providing free WiFi only at hospitals, parks and bus terminals.

And in a meeting with the people of Damphu in Tsirang on Thursday, the DPT president said they will, if elected, review and improve central school policy to make education more equitable and sustainable.

The people were also told that DPT will ensure that all students studying in remote schools get mid-day meal. It was also shared that DPT would upgrade three selected schools to colleges with Damphu Central School being one of the three schools.

According to DPT manifesto, the party will establish ECRs and ECCD centres in every chiwog as deemed necessary, maintain schools in rural communities at least up to class VI, increase the stipend for students in tertiary institutions from Nu 1,500 to Nu 3,000, provide bus service for students having to walk for more than an hour, and introduce leave encashment for teachers.

Addressing the people in Doban in Sarpang on Thursday, Pema Gyamtsho informed the congregation that DPT is a team with good blend of young and old, and that 16 of the candidates have worked as the Member of Parliament for at least five years and three were ministers.

“The most popular MP, Dorji Wangdi who is better known as Mr. Panbang, is very much with us. Also, Lyonpo Thakur Singh has come back to politics leaving behind his job as the president of RTC, all because he is genuinely concerned about the people and the nation,” he said, adding that the party also has five young men (aged below 30), who have come with their youthful vigor to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum.

Yenten Thinley from Thimphu