Congratulating PDP chief Tshering Tobgay after his party won the Bhutan elections,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday promised to continue with Indias unflinching support to Bhutan.
Singh in his message also said that he had instructed Indian officials to prepare for discussions on New Delhis plan assistance for Bhutan. The last aid plan ended in June.
Indias decision this month to cut subsidies on cooking gas and kerosene to Bhutan was a major election issue.
The new government in Thimphu will not be in place before the next 10 days during which the aggrieved parties can appeal against the verdict. The next round of negotiations are expected to happen before the end of this month.
It gives me great pleasure to facilitate your excellency on the success of the Peoples Democratic Party as well as your own election to the national assembly in the historic second democratic election in Bhutan, Singh said. I would like to avail of this opportunity to assure you of the steadfast and unflinching support of India and its citizens for the steady steps that Bhutan is taking to further strengthen democratic processes and institutions, he added.
I also look forward to an early opportunity of welcoming you in India, the Prime Minister said.
Singh said India was a privileged partner of Bhutan and its people. Our bilateral ties are anchored in a strong foundation of trust,mutual confidence and understanding. I wish to reiterate Indias undiminished commitment to Bhu-tan in preserving these unique and special traditional ties.
India is,and will remain,sensitive to Bhutan and its interests, he added.
Although Indian officials indicate that they are ready to work with all sections of the society,South Block may not be unhappy with former PM Jigme Thinleys defeat.
The new PDP regime is supportive of the Bhutanese monarchy,which is in favour of better ties with India. In fact,during the poll campaign,they had blamed Thinley government for the subsidy withdrawal and had assured the Bhutanese electorate that they will get the subsidy restored once they are in power.
According to sources,the talks will be held with the new government as soon as it takes charge and the issue will be resolved.
Indo-Bhutan ties top priority: PDP
THIMPHU: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),which won a landslide victory in Bhutans second national elections,Sunday declared that resolving the issue of Indias withdrawal of subsidy on kerosene and cooking gas and rebuilding bilateral ties is its top priority. The PDP has defeated ruling Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) by winning 32 seats of the 47 in the National Assembly. It has unveiled pledges for the first 100 days in office,that include developing a long-term strategy and action plan to deal with shortage of the Indian Rupee,revising the national minimum wage rate and removal of wasteful expenditure. We have mentioned in our pledges for 100 days that the PDP governments first priority will be to rebuild and strengthen Indo-Bhutan relations, PDP general secretary Sonam Jatsho said. In the long term interest of strengthening democracy,the PDP government will request the Government of India to finance a significant amount of economic stimulus plan, Jatsho said.