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New Bhutan govt keen to boost ties with India
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, July 14
As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won the second democratic election in Bhutan, both New Delhi and Thimphu today declared their keenness to put behind them the recent controversy arising from India’s withdrawal of subsidy on kerosene and cooking gas and take steps on a priority basis to consolidate bilateral ties.

“We have mentioned in our pledges for 100 days that the PDP government’s first priority will be to rebuild and strengthen Indo-Bhutan relations,” PDP general secretary Sonam Jatsho said in Thimphu after unveiling pledges for the first 100 days in office.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, meanwhile, wrote to PDP president Tshering Tobgay to congratulate him on his party’s victory in the elections and extending New Delhi’s ‘unflinching support’ to the tiny Himalayan nation.

The PM noted that India was a privileged partner of Bhutan and its people in their socio-economic progress and development. “Our bilateral ties are anchored in a strong foundation of trust, mutual confidence and understanding. I wish to reiterate India's undiminished commitment to Bhutan in preserving these unique and special traditional ties. India is, and will remain, sensitive to Bhutan and its interests.”

He said it would be India’s endeavour to strengthen bilateral ties further. He said he had already instructed Indian officials to prepare for further discussions on India’s plan assistance to Bhutan.

The PM’s comments assume significance against the backdrop of the recent withdrawal of subsidy by India to Bhutan on cooking gas and kerosene, leading to tension between the two countries. India officials say the subsidy was withdrawn because of the lapse of the development plan agreement with Thimphu.

New Delhi could not hold talks with the Bhutanese side on the plan assistance since the Himalayan nation was in the midst of the electoral exercise. Now that the election process had been completed, officials from the two sides would sit together and settle the subsidy issue. “We don’t want to cause any hardship the people of Bhutan,’’ official sources said. (With PTI inputs)

PM promises ‘unflinching support’

  • PM Manmohan Singh has congratulated PDP president Tshering Tobgay on his party’s victory in the Bhutan elections and assured New Delhi’s ‘unflinching support’ to the tiny Himalayan nation
  • The PM’s comments are significant in the backdrop of the recent withdrawal of subsidy on cooking gas and kerosene to Bhutan, leading to tension between the nations
  • The PDP declared that resolving the issue of India’s withdrawal of subsidy and rebuilding bilateral ties would be its top priority





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