Rajkarnikar pulls out of prez race

  • fncci presidential election
- RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu
Rajkarnikar pulls out of prez race

Jun 30, 2015-

Two days ahead of the election for the President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar, one of three candidates for the top post, pulled out of the race on Tuesday.

Annoucing his withdrawal from the presidential election, Rajkarnikar expressed his support to Pashupati Murarka for the top post. The decision to quit the race was taken to maintain solidarity within the FNCCI, according to Rajkarnikar. “At the time when FNCCI’s role is being increasingly questioned, my withdrawal from the nomination could help the institutional unity of the private sector’s apex body,” said Rajkarnikar at a press meet in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

Along with Rajkarnikar and Murarka, Bhawani Rana had filed nomination for the FNCCI presidency on Saturday.

During the press meet, Rajkarnikar stressed on the need to pick a unanimous candidate to head the umbrella body of the business fraternity. “I wish another candidate in the fray [Rana] also supports Murarka,” he said.

Former FNCCI President Suraj Vaidya had held meetings with all three candidates on Tuesday where he persuaded Rajkarnikar to withdraw his nomination and also urged Rana to withdraw her candidacy, according to informed sources. Several other former FNCCI presidents had also called for a unanimous president at a recent press meet.

Rana is likely to announce her withdrawal from the election on Wednesday, paving the way for Murarka to be the next FNCCI head by a unanimous vote, a source said. Rana was not immediately available for a comment.

The top FNCCI post has remained vacant since Pradeep Jung Pandey was sentenced to jail on March 18 over a three-decade old corruption case. In the last FNCCI Executive Committee election, Rajkarnikar had lost the battle to Pandey. Subsequently, the Rajkarnikar panel filed the case against Pandey.

The federation’s executive committee meeting on May 28 removed Pandey from the post and called a fresh election.

Maintaining that he had no personal vendatta against Pandey, Rajkarnikar said the decision to remove Pandey was taken as per the FNCCI statute that bars any person facing a criminal charge from holding the top position in the federation. He claimed that the district chambers were also in favour of a unanimously nominated president.

Murarka brushed off suggestions that he had patched up with Rajkarnikar because of political pressure. “Being a senior, I will always consider Rajkarnikar’s advice for a way forward in the coming days,” he said. Should Murarka win a unanimous decision, he will hold the top position for 21 months.

Praising Rajkarnikar for his gesture, the immediate past president of FNCCI Vaidya urged Murarka to lead the umbrella organisation by accommodating everyone from the private sector.

Murarka had defeated Rana for the post of senior vice-president in the last election. The election is scheduled on Friday.

Published: 01-07-2015 07:57

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