CHANDRA PRASAD DHAKAL Reflections Of A Victor

Despite conspiracies against Chandra Prasad Dhakal to prevent him from being elected the vice president, he is challenging his opponents in words as if from a victor’s reflections

Aug. 4, 2020, 7:51 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 14 No. 02, August 07, 2020 ( Shrawan 23, 2077) Publisher: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

“He who respects others will not be insulted, he who is tolerant will win the popular support; he who acts in good faith will be trusted, he who is diligent will succeed in his undertakings, he who is generous will make others work hard for him.”

As said by Chinese philosopher Confucius, industrialist and banker Chandra Prasad Dhakal, who has announced his candidacy for the senior vice president of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), is humble in using his remarks carefully while respecting even his die-hard opponents and conspirator in the current politics inside FNCCI.

“We are now contesting elections. There are personal likes and dislikes. Our friends who are contesting with us may use tricks or make foul and misguided statements. However, we believe in the honest judgment of our voters who know each of us very well. I am confident that they will vote for us because of our commitment at present and for the future and our response in the past,” said candidate Dhakal addressing a press meet.

Although some office-bearers, including senior vice president Shekhar Golchha, whom he has helped and supported at the time of his personal crisis in FNCCI, are openly working to block his entry as a senior vice president, Dhakal has not lost his sight and wisdom. He is using the soberest and conciliatory remarks on their decision to postpone the forthcoming General Convention which was scheduled for this fortnight, indefinitely.

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“Naturally, Shekhar Golchha will lead our team for the coming three years as president. I also said this in our candidate declaration program four months ago that under Golchha’s leadership we would have a professional and dynamic team. I also said that our team will work in close collaboration with him as one team. Now I am asking a question to Shekhar Jee: why did we pass a proposal of the senior vice president to be automatically a president? Who is killing the spirit of that proposal and for what?”

In his entire press meeting, Dhakal was very specific in using words not to hurt anybody even if that person might have been conspiring against him. His sober and communicative behavior is his major strength.

Dhakal always receives the phone whenever somebody calls him even the general members of the district. He is a rare person in the FNCCI in the rank and file treating all equally and conversing with them with respect and equality.

“Sometimes ago when an overwhelming number of friends in the leadership demanded to remove the provision of making the senior vice president into president automatically, I was the person defending the provision in pledging Shekhar Ji as our leader. Had I not done the hard work, what would have happened now. We believe that he will keep this thing in mind.”

“Whoever wins the election, Shekharjee will be our president. We are also confident that our panel will win the election and we are the members of his team. This is our message. Our message is to make FNCCI strong at this difficult time.”

As the senior vice president is directly elected as the president of the FNCCI, Golchha, the current senior vice president, will succeed Bhawani Rana as the President of the organization.

Although his opponents have already launched a campaign targeting his team, Dhakal has been urging the voters of FNCCI to choose the persons on the basis of their own experiences and strength to navigate the difficult time.

After the decision of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) to defer its general convention yet again, citing the containment measures enforced by the government to stop the spread of coronavirus, Vice President Dhakal, along with his colleagues, registered a note of dissent over the decision to defer election.

The office bearers, in a meeting, decided to postpone its 54th Annual General Meeting and Election citing the government’s decision to prohibit all types of mass meetings, assemblies, or gatherings as part of containment measures to combat COVID-19.

The meeting also decided to hold the annual general convention and election within 15 days following the government’s approval in organizing public gatherings or assemblies. This decision leaves the election date of the umbrella organization of businesses in the country uncertain.

With the decision of the FNCCI to postpone its annual general assembly that was scheduled for the second week of August, the election fever that had started to grip the private sector is also likely to cool down until a new election date is announced.

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The decision to postpone the election came days after the election timetable was published to elect the new executive committee of the FNCCI including the senior vice president. The AGM will also pave the way for the current senior vice president Shekhar Golchha to take over the leadership of the FNCCI as its new president.

This is not the first time that the 54th annual general convention of the FNCCI got postponed. Earlier in March, the date of the AGM scheduled between April 10 and 11 was postponed until May 20 and 21, only to be deferred until the second week of August.

Election Fever

The election fever was already gripping the private sector. As the senior vice president is the president-in-waiting of the FNCCI, it is considered to be an election of the president for the next term. Two business leaders have jumped into the fray.

Dhakal, the current vice president representing Associate members, has already announced his candidacy for the post of senior vice president while Kishore Kumar Pradhan, another vice president, has also announced that he will contest the election for the senior vice president.

They have also announced their own panels for the executive committee comprising other vice-presidents, other office bearers and executive members. Both panels have also set up their election-centered offices and intensified their campaigns.

“We decided to register a note of dissent as we disagree that the office bearers’ level decision can make such an important decision like postponing the AGM date. It should have been decided by an executive committee meeting,” Dhakal said.

“Also, the organization had written a letter to the government seeking approval for holding the AGM. Postponing the election date before the government responded to our request was also the reason we dissented with the decision,” he added.

However, those who stood in favor of postponing the AGM said that holding the assembly on the scheduled date is not only a violation of the government’s containment measures but also could be a recipe for a disaster during the pandemic.

“The feeling of responsibility toward the fellow members has been nudging me more than the desire to assume the post. As the lockdown is eased, the moral question regarding the safety of bringing 1,000 business people from across the country to a single place has haunted me. But, it feels sad to see people giving it a different color,” Shekhar Golchha, senior vice president of the FNCCI, wrote in a tweet a day before the office bearers’ meeting that decided to postpone the election.

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“It does not make any difference to us even if the general assembly is held in April 2021,” said the leading senior vice president candidate for FNCCI. Dhakal group stated that the decision to postpone the elections even without fixing a new date has weakened FNCCI’s legal and moral foundation.

Dhakal said that FNCCI is now in the weakest position in its five-decade-long history in legal terms. He said that it is unfortunate to put FNCCI in elections politics.

He said that it does not make any difference to him whether to hold elections in April 2021 as he is not going to be elected in an executive position. If you ask me about my personal issues, it does not make any difference to me when or where they hold the General Convention.

“Before the convention, I am vice president. After being elected by the general convention, I will be senior vice president. I am not going to be elected for an executive posts. Thus, neither I will gain much general convention of FNCCI nor it will fulfill my individual wish. “

He said that he expressed the views to hold General Convention strictly following health protocols.

“The way we are opening industries, corporate offices and other offices following health protocols, we can hold the general convention following the same protocols,” said Dhakal. When I proposed this, some of our colleagues tried to discourage me saying health is more important than convention.

In my public life, I have never said that health is more important than FNCCI. I cannot think this way. Even during the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, South Korea, Singapore and some European Countries held the elections. Similarly, the federal parliament and state parliament are underway following the health protocol. My opinion was that we can also hold the elections following such a protocol.

There is the need to hold the General Convention in time to protect the image of the 55-year old institution. He said that the federation is now nowhere due to old leadership skipping from their responsibility and new leadership’s unwillingness to accept the challenges.

He also said that the practice of summoning executive committee meeting to decide on the General Convention also broke this time. We have adequate time to summon the meeting, we have bypassed it. This is very sad. This will develop the wrong practices.

We do have enough time to call the executive committee meeting. We have seized the rights of the executive committee. I am more concerned about the wrong trend established in the current decision. He also said that the decision was taken in haste even not waiting for the government’s response.

Repaying Injury With Justice

Renowned banker Dhakal, who is the most deserving candidate for the post of senior vice president for forthcoming elections of FNCCI has announced his candidacy repaying injury with justice.

At a time when the global economy has been facing a major crisis with the spread of COVID-19, Nepal’s private sector will also face many difficulties. Given the complex and challenging global context, FNCCI, a leading business federation, also needs the most capable and tactful leadership to support the private sector.

Starting from a very small scale, Dhakal has shown his strategic leadership to expand the industry and institution. At this time of crisis, Dhakal’s experience will be more relevant to FNCCI and private sector.

Although he was virtually betrayed by current senior vice president Golchha, who will automatically be promoted as a president, Dhakal will be paid for this injury with justice by his colleagues, voting him for senior Vice President.

Dhakal has come up with the slogan ‘Public-private partnership: base for prosperity’ for his election campaign. Kishor Pradhan is another potential contender for the position this time but he is yet to declare his candidacy.

Portraying Pradhan as his own candidate, Golchha has not only betrayed Dhakal but also ignored the strong support lent by Dhakal to elect him as the senior vice president and supported a move to stop Golchha to become president automatically.

Injured by Golchha’s hidden move and betrayal, Dhakal announced his candidacy formally with his own panel for forthcoming General Assembly of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The support of Golchha, an ambitious businessman from the traditional industrial house of Nepal, to Pradhan is also individually motivated. Unlike dynamic and widely popular Dhakal, Pradhan is always unknown and in shadow.

Announcing his candidacy for senior vice president, Dhakal questioned current senior vice President Shekhar Golchha: why did we endorse the proposal to turn senior vice president automatically into the president and why are you betraying that spirit?

Who did the lobbying when the overwhelming majority of FNCCI members united to amend the constitution to replace the present provision? In the future, we may do whatever one likes; I hope Shekharjee will remember the stand taken by me in difficult times.

Dhakal felt injured and betrayed not by his enemy but the people who he stood with side by side and supported at the difficult and crucial times in the leadership of FNCCI.

Born in a common family of Baglung District, renowned banker Dhakal is a self-made man. With no family inherited the business, Dhakal’s success story in the business is his own individual struggle and his rise in the industrial sector is his own doing and behavior.

For the last decade, renowned banker and industrialist Chandra Dhakal not only has made a big jump in the banking and recreational industrial sector but he himself built a heart to heart relations with the industrialists, entrepreneurs and businessmen living all over Nepal.

In politics, it is naturally a game of betrayal, jealousy and conspiracy. Every individual has to go through it. However, it is frustrating when individuals in Nepal’s business communities, who do not tire of boasting themselves as transparent, fair and neutral, are involved in the conspiracy.

Chairperson of Global IME Bank, Dhakal, a gentle and sober personality, has invested hugely in recreation business including Chandragiri Cable car.

The history of FNCCI is a history of betrayal and conspiracy. In a crucial time, FNCCI’s followers failed to recognize and accept genuine leadership. Many prominent figures like Binod Chaudhary left the institution. Even Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnicar faced humiliation and left the organization.

Instead, Dhakal, who believes in the strength and rationality of his overwhelming colleagues, has announced his candidacy with a panel of other competent persons for the coming tenure.

Dhakal’s panel includes Umesh Lal Shrestha (Commodity), Vice President, Ram Chandra Shanghai (Vice President Associate), Gunnidhi Tiwari (Vice President District and Town). However, Pradhan is yet to announce his panel.

Addressing the program, Dhakal said that he will give equal priority to small, medium and big industries.

He also said that he is taking this election as an election for president due to the current provision of automatic provision. He also highlighted the importance of forthcoming vice president as the election for the president.

Dhakal said that his priority is to create employment through the development of the private sector.

“As it is uncertain over the COVID-19 Pandemic, there is the need to continue economic activities for the sake of the country,” said Dhakal. He also said that the time has come to change the traditional monetary policy and stressed the need for a new one to meet the current situation.”

As Chinese philosopher, Confucius says Repay injury with Kindness. If you reward injury with kindness, with what, when will you reward kindness? You should repay an injury with justice and kindness with kindness.

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