Naren­dra Modi con­grat­u­lates Bhutan’s newly elected PM Lo­tay Tsh­er­ing

In­dia’s for­eign min­istry says Modi also wel­comed the suc­cess­ful con­duct of polls, only the third elec­tions in Bhutan since 2008

Bhutan Times - - Editorial - El­iz­a­beth Roche ( Court­sey : LiveMint)

New Delhi: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Fri­day called Bhutan's newly elected Prime Min­is­ter Lo­tay Tsh­er­ing, pres­i­dent of Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa party, to con­grat­u­late him on his elec­tion win.

A state­ment from the In­dian for­eign min­istry said Modi also wel­comed the suc­cess­ful con­duct of polls, only the third elec­tions in the Hi­malayan coun­try bor­der­ing In­dia and China since 2008.

“Prime Min­is­ter Modi con­grat­u­lated Dr. Lo­tay Tsh­er­ing on his party's vic­tory in the third gen­eral elec­tion in Bhutan and his own elec­tion to the Na­tional As­sem­bly. Prime Min­is­ter Modi wel­comed the suc­cess­ful con­duct of gen­eral elec­tions, which is an im­por­tant mile­stone for con­sol­i­da­tion of democ­racy in Bhutan,” the In­dian state­ment said.

The cen­tre-left Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa, which was only formed in 2013, won 30 of the 47 na­tional as­sem­bly seats in Thurs­day's vote, ac­cord­ing to the pro­vi­sional re­sults re­leased by Bhutan's elec­tion com­mi­sion.

News re­ports said Tsh­er­ing, a 50-year-old urol­ogy sur­geon who trained in Bangladesh and Aus­tralia, had vowed to work to­wards “na­tion-build­ing” while tack­ling youth em­ploy­ment, ru­ral poverty and crim­i­nal gangs while cam­paign­ing.

Modi “con­veyed that In­dia at­taches the high­est pri­or­ity to fur­ther strength­en­ing unique ties of friend­ship and co­op­er­a­tion with Bhutan, which is based on shared in­ter­ests and val­ues, ut­most trust, good­will and mu­tual un­der­stand­ing” it said.

“Re­call­ing the on­go­ing Golden Ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tions of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries, Prime Min­is­ter Modi re­it­er­ated In­dia's stead­fast com­mit­ment to work with the new govern­ment in Bhutan in its na­tional ef­forts for so­cioe­co­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, based on the pri­or­i­ties and in­ter­ests of the peo­ple and the govern­ment of Bhutan. Prime Min­is­ter Modi ex­tended an in­vi­ta­tion to Dr. Lo­tay Tsh­er­ing to visit In­dia,” the state­ment said.

Tsh­er­ing thanked Modi for his greet­ings and ac­cepted the in­vi­ta­tion to visit In­dia at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity, the state­ment said, adding the lead­ers “agreed to take for­ward the unique and mul­ti­fac­eted bi­lat­eral co-oper­a­tion” for the ben­e­fit of the peo­ple of both coun­tries.

In­dia views Bhutan as a key neigh­bour. Last year, In­dia and China were en­gaged in a tense mil­i­tary stand­off on Bhutan's Dok­lam plateau af­ter Chi­nese troops moved road build­ing and construction equip­ment onto the plateau. When the Chi­nese side brushed off ob­jec­tions raised by Bhutanese sol­diers, In­dian troops in­ter­vened lead­ing to the face off that was re­solved on 28 Au­gust.

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