Since the declaration of the names of the Cabinet ministers yesterday, sections of disgruntled social media users caused something of an online riot with disapproval and disappointment which of course still pales by far from the recent sequel of drama that we have witnessed since the general election and well, well who would have thought we would have our own blockbuster actors amongst us? Fifteen grievances? PDP supporters had many names to call the grieving ones as much as DPT supporters had splendid explanations that will read like a perfect plot. From a neutral perspective, everything that has happened in 2008 has happened in the exact manner in 2013, except that this time, the coin has flipped. And peace walk? Oh My! What next? Hunger strike?

Past that, PDP did not seem as jubilant and exhilarated over their victory as one would expect a winning party to be. Perhaps that is the precedence that they want to set for a celebration. However by 3 PM yesterday, media houses began tweeting the names of the cabinet ministers and the first thing that struck me was “Where has Lekey Dorji’s name disappeared?” Of course, other expectants also had Yogesh Tamang and Ritu Raj in their list. But when DN Dhungyel’s name appeared, I was sure as hell that LD hasn’t sailed through ..I say “sail through” because I am convinced that he was atleast in the nomination list.

By the time I went home, I have had several discussions that extended even after midnight, through my niece’s cake cutting and a small wine session. And the whole noise making involved around LD – the whys and why-nots of his admittance in the Cabinet.

I admit I lack people knowledge basically because I couldn’t care less about who warms his butt on which throne unless he/she dents my mind positively. But then, some people’s rise to popularity is beyond our helping and the Bhutanese society does have efficient whisperers that blow around like a feather in the wind, the identities and relevant background snippets way before a face arrives as the claimant. When DPT formed the government in 2008, much of the faces were familiar and now that PDP forms the government in 2013, we have a bunch of people for ministerial posts who might as well be wearing masks and we wouldn’t know the difference one bit!! But routine has it that we tend to lean towards familiar faces – a bit of a trust issue where strangers are concerned. And that is exactly where LD features – because he has a known name, with a mind that many think, is the icing to the cake, and optimistically thinking, may prove his dynamism in the ICT sector.

So what could have caused LD’s name to slip from the list of cabinet ministers?

As in any other organization, I am sure the political parties have a set of heuristics for nomination and then to select candidates for relevant posts, and perhaps LD couldn’t fulfill everyone of them and so must be the case of Yogesh and Ritu Raj. LD was one among the DNT migrators and some think, his deserting the PDP party once may have caused this obstruction but others think, like my father for instance, that it is just a matter of destiny or Lungtoey in his words and that the orange scarf is yet to be written in his. Only the analysts think he couldn’t tick every criterion required of a ministerial post.

The angst of khengpas over not having a minister from their region, I hear, is creating an outcry that PDP will not have support from them in 2018 for their currently supposed unfair play. A PDP supporter said in retaliation that PDP would not simply ignore the Kheng region at all since all development plans are laid out in the 11th five year plan but I suppose, having an authority from one’s region who would personally look into the development of his/her constituency possibly even beyond the five year plan, is quite a different story. But in effect, the khengpas are brighter than the elite and literate Thim-bulbs lot who voted out candidates from a winning party, preventing any immediate future betterment in the capital.

PDP, I bet, will need to bite more than they can chew. DPT won in 2008 because people had faith in the old ministers. PDP won in 2013 because DPT couldn’t keep people’s faith. And thus, PDP will need to slog beyond their imagination to enjoy the kind of trust and faith that people once had in DPT…and more than anyone of us, the Khengpas will be watching…
8 Responses
  1. Langa Tenzin Says:

    The fact that the President, now the PM-elect of PDP promised the people of his constituency a ministerial berth for LD makes it even more sour. From what I gather through the news, people of Kheng region are very distraught and disappointed as you also mentioned.

    Until the party declares the reason for LD not making the cut to cabinet, guessing is the only thing we can do. May be he couldn't fulfill the criteria or his day hasn't come yet.

    As for the people of Thimphu voting out the candidates of the winning party, I would say they only hoped the party of the candidates they supported will win. But I am sure PDP can't neglect Thimphu for the next five years since it is the face of Bhutan.

    A great article as always, ma'am Kinga. It's always a pleasure to go through your blog. Keep updating. :)

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Like many, I am surprised too....perhaps we are getting to see the unique side of Bhutanese democracy.....going by this trend i think any tom and dick can hold ministerial post..... For now I am looking for surprises from PDP cabinet....

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I too am surprised that Lekey Dorji did not make it as a Minister. The OL had made a public declaration in Zhemgang that Lekey would be a Minister if PDP won. Lekey was also given personal assurance by the President of the party that he would be a Minister should the PDP win the elections. Even until the last minute his appointment was beyond doubt that Lekey called his wife all the way from Australia for the investiture ceremonies.

    Lesser persons have made it to the ministerial post. And yet Lekey did not. Why? I don’t know and nobody knows. Except the PM elect and he isn’t telling!

  4. Kinga Choden Says:

    Hi Langa,

    Nothing would give me more pleasure than to be able to agree with you that being the face of the nation, Thimphu wouldn't be neglected. However, looking at the way things functioned around here the last five years, I doubt things can get any better. But if we have had even an MP from Thimphu, we could atleast have someone to blame or who might even work harder to avoid those blames and to do to Thimphu what Sheila Dixit did to Delhi. Also, there are many features to a face and those on the outskirts are no better than any rural area around the country while those at the center will possibly become unlivable within the next decade or so.

    HI Anon1 & Anon2,

    Let's hope that the PM elect knows what he's doing but I doubt if he's to be blamed alone. :)-

  5. Langa Tenzin Says:

    Thank you, ma'am Kinga.

    Are you really sure Thimphu would have seen better days if it had an MP this time? By MP, you seem to be meaning PDP MP.
    You can still blame the present MPs if they don't live up to what people expect from them, right? It's not like they will be in the Opposition and not do anything other than opposing government's unwise moves in terms of laws and policies.

    If you say so, may be enough have been done for the prominent parts of the face. Make them attend to other parts of the face.
    Only time will tell us.

  6. Kinga Choden Says:

    Dear Langa,

    I wouldn't bet my life that a PDP MP would perform better this time than had a minister from Thimphu in the previous government. Promises are one thing, fulfilling them another. But if politicians were to perform, one from a ruling govt. would be logically preferable over another from the opposition party. Expecting an MP from an opposition to perform would be like expecting a neighbour to come and babysit in your home...where the babysitter has hardly or no authority.

    The rural parts of the capital suffer from inadequacy of basic amenities such as proper toilets and roads while that at the central has put on too much makeup and looks anything but beautiful. We need proper roads, proper sanitation, adequate drinking water supply, proper parking, some landscaping rather than skyscrapers and Prados. Remember Yash Chopra, the Indian film maker, was filthy rich but died from a mere mosquito bite from a muddy poodle right outside his production house.

  7. Langa Tenzin Says:

    I got all your points, ma'am Kinga. It's unlucky that Ruling Party couldn't secure a win from any of the constituencies in Thimphu.

    I hope there won't be Yash Chopras there. Imagine the fate of other rural areas which have Opposition candidates if you think Thimphu's outskirts are that pathetic. I wish party system and democracy were easier.

    Cheers! And let us hope for the best.
    Whatever, I enjoy your write ups. Keep updating. :)

  8. Kinga Choden Says:

    Oh Thanks very much Langa :)

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