Past deeds and outcomes woo voters towards the Horse in Tsirang
The entirety of Tsirang dzongkhag comprising Kilkhorthang-Mendrelgang and Sergithang-Tsirangtoed constituencies opted to support the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during the National Assembly (NA) elections 2024.
Sergithang-Tsirangtoed constituency was won by Lhakpa Tshering Tamang of the PDP with a massive vote count of 6,338 against 2,702 votes cast for Gopal Thapa of Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP), while old horse Kamal Bahadur Gurung of PDP secured his seat with 5,800 votes against 3,947 votes for BTP’s DB Tamang.
Hearing stories from lore and galore, voters said that their votes were already decided even before the elections because of what and how political parties impacted their lives in the past elections. It is with this hope and longing that most voters in Tsirang opted to choose the Horse over an Elephant this time around too. “They (PDP) provided us with infrastructures such as water pipes, electric lines and road connectivity wherever necessary. They fulfilled at-least 40% of what they pledged when they came to meet us,” said 64 year old Kinley, a resident of Lungsigang, Tsholingkhar gewog.
For 27 year old Sujan Rai (name changed) from Tsholingkhar, it has always been PDP. “I will support PDP and my entire family, even my entire village folk support PDP because of their past deeds,” he said. “I was nowhere without a citizenship ID card before 2013. PDP came to the rescue of mine and others’ problem, which was solved immediately.”
In another chiwog, Dawa Tshering nonchalantly points towards his bathroom, constructed a few meters apart from his house. “Those are the structures we built with support from PDP while they were in governance,” he says, as he proudly showcases the developments taken place when PDP were in power back then.
Likewise, people across the dzongkhag shared that their concerns were well raised, well understood and well researched upon when dealing with representatives who spoke their local dialects well. “PDP always had that aura and we could see that whenever they came for party meetings to interact with the general public. It lightens up the atmosphere whereby we can speak our minds openly without having to procrastinate,” a voter from Mendrelgang gewog said, when asked how confident she was of the two political parties.
Voters said that while BTP’s DB Tamang had aura and fluency in his verses, PDP’s Kamal Gurung possessed experience along with versatility on the political arena. While both showcased mesmerizing talents during their respective campaign trails, it was always going to be Kamal Gurung gunning for the post because of his popularity among the masses.
Among other things, the voters of Tsirang, mostly relying on agriculture and farming products, are expecting that their votes aren’t going to lay waste. “We have done our part based on past experiences and future promises. Now it is PDP’s turn to show how well they are worth of our trust and allegiance,” voters said.
From the 27,181 total eligible registered voters in the dzongkhag, the turnout was 19,887 on poll day at the 43 polling stations spread across the dzongkhag. Male voters surpassed the number of female voters in the dzongkhag during the poll day.
Tashi Namgyal from Tsirang