Bhutan may enact ‘India law’

India-Bhutan relations has strained
India-Bhutan relations has strained

Bhutan may introduce a law or convention to stop its political parties from making its relationship with India an election issue in future.

After weeks of mudslinging over who “displeased or provoked” India, the kingdom’s incumbent party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), and the major opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday hinted at the possibility of a provision to prevent India-Bhutan ties from turning into a political issue.

“After the July 13 general election, we may review the electoral process and explore means and ways to stop parties from discussing bilateral ties with India during campaigning,” DPT vice-president Sangay Thinley Dorji told TOI.

PDP, too, is keen on the proposal. “We can always have an agreement not to discuss India-Bhutan ties during electioneering. Bhutan’s relationship with India is of utmost importance for all Bhutanese,” said PDP secretary-general Sonam Jatso.

Considering Bhutan’s great dependence on Delhi for its economic survival, the debate over India seems to have put DPT, which won 45 out 47 seats in the 2008 election, on the back foot. For, DPT prime minister Jigme Thinley is said to have warmed up to Chinese overtures, giving New Delhi a severe heartburn.

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