Political parties are misleading the people with blatant lies to take down the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) because it emerged even stronger, the party president, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said at the party’s national convention held on August 4.
He said that other parties were going around in villages and conveying to people that government should change every five years. “This is the greatest risk for the party,” he said adding that if the ruling party has not lived up to the expectations of the people, then it should change. Or else, he said the party deserves to continue.
“Instilling fear among the people is the only strategy with other parties,” he said.
Similarly, he said the issue on national debt was blown out of proportion. “Parties have made it sound like the debt has to be divided among all the people and make them pay for it,” he said. “A blatant lie.”
While the party is accused of giving privilege to its supporters to avail loan from Rural Enterprise Development Corporation (REDCL) and Business Opportunity and information Centre (BOiC), the party president claimed it was a lie.
Unemployment, he said was an issue but other parties made it sound like it had reached a state of emergency.
“Because the government has created more employment, private sector is running short of manpower,” he said.
The closure of other schools with the onset of central schools, he added was another lie other parties were cooking.
Parties, he said had also given an impression that people would be made to pay for the health services. “This is another false story.”
With regard to the mega livestock project, he said other parties had labelled it, as a slaughterhouse while the intent was to supply seed to the rural pockets.
“But there isn’t any option for them, other than to lie, because they are in trouble,” he added.
The president said that the general feed back from the people was that this government had served with humility, dedication and without favoritism and nepotism. Corruption, he said had been never heard of during this government’s tenure. “Economic situation, people say, has improved as loans were not only made available but lowered the interest and rupee was in abundant supply,” he added.
He said that some claimed that the East-West highway was started in the 10th Plan. “This is a big lie.”
The party president said that people were grateful for 100 units of free electricity, GC roads, farm roads and farm shops, among others.
For the 2018 elections, the party president said PDP was a party that walked the talk and strived to fulfil its mandate since 2008. “Our main priority is to fulfil what was pledged and take the responsibility sincerely,” he said.
Another is to strengthen the party in all terms. “We will try our best, but we cant reach everywhere,” he said highlighting the importance of its coordinators and supporter.
During the convention, all its coordinators and party workers were awarded with dhar and certificates.
As far as the party is concerned, he said that it has strong candidates, which he said was another strategy.
“Capable candidates came forward or agreed to our request because they feel that PDP has achieved results and served the King, Country and people with humility,” he said.
Among its members, there are 11 former ministers, including the former communications minister of the DPT, Nandalal Rai. Former secretaries, dzongdags, a gup, a chhimi, engineers, bankers, doctors along with three PhD holders, the PDP president said was the strongest pool of candidates.
Former Speaker Jigmi Zangpo was appointed the general secretary of the party. “Which party has a experienced and capable GS to lead the party?” he asked.
“I won’t ask you to support us directly, but if you think that PDP has served His Majesty well, worked for the interest of nation and its people, then support us,” he said. “If you think that the situation of the country has changed today compared with the past, the support us.”
All 47 candidates were given party tickets and then took an oath of allegiance.
The education minister, Norbu Wangchuk gave a presentation on achievements of the 11th Plan.
The greatest achievement of the party, he said was in maintaining peace and stability in the country while Keeping His Majesty The King contented on the golden throne.
The economy, he said had been stabilised from a GDP growth of 2 percent to 8 percent today. Rupee crises, he added had been addressed.
The concern on national debt, he said was misleading as the increase in national debt is fuelled by expedition of hydropower projects. For the first time in the history of the country, non-hydro debts have been reduced. Since 1961, he said non-hydro debt was on the rise.
He also highlighted on the state of five jewels of the economy.
In terms of health, he said the greatest achievement was the buildup of health trust fund from Nu 1B to 2.3B. During the convention, an analogy of how the helicopter service had saved a life of a three-month-old baby was shown through a video clip. Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that 389 such lives were saved.
“We don’t have any problems and issues with resources, to construct hospitals, and purchase equipment,” he said adding that only issue was on the shortage of specialist. To solve this, he said KGUMSB has been established.
Length of farm road, he said had increased form 6,000km in the 10th plan to 11,000km today. Figures such as 1,200 power tillers, 2,800Km of electric fence, 200 gewog banks were highlighted.
Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk called on stage Karma Dema from Bumdeling-Jamkhar constituency. She said she was a DPT supporter before and feared of consequences when PDP won the elections. “But when the BOiC was formed, I could easily get a loan of Nu 4M,” she said. PDP, she said offered the helicopter service to find her son who got lost in the forest. “I felt that this party do not differentiate and now I am the women coordinator of PDP,” Karma Dema said.
Likewise, actor Tandin Bidha who was the emcee of the event had a conversation with one of the villagers from Trashigang who has benefited from the central schools.
Foreign minister, Damcho Dorji said going ahead, the main task of the government was to prepare the country for a smooth transition from low-income group to a middle-income group.
While the party’s ideology is wangtse chirphel, he revealed the slogan of the party – “unity, stability, prosperity”
The works and human settlement minister, Dorji Choden also said that the party had good candidates to represent the people. “Win or lose, it’s not the party and the candidates but the people who win or lose.”
Meanwhile, the turnout for the convention was massive. People could not be accommodated inside the RIM hall that they had to be seated in tents outside with the programme broadcast on the projector outside.
Bhutanese singers and actors were part of the event entertaining the crowd with songs and lozey.