Kathmandu, December 10
Though dozens of renowned businessmen had contested the parliamentary and provincial elections, only a few were able to win seats in the first-past-the-post election system of the polls held on November 26 and December 7.
Among those who contested the elections, Nepali Congress (NC) leader Mohan Acharya from Rasuwa, CPN-UML leaders Parbat Gurung from Dolakha and Lal Prasad Sanwa Limbu from Jhapa, won the election in their respective constituencies. Acharya and Gurung both are renowned contractors and Limbu is the former president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies.
Among others, Tek Bahadur Gurung, an overseas entrepreneur, who was contesting for the parliamentary seat from Manang on a ticket from NC, was defeated by the candidate from the left alliance. Purna Bahadur Tamang of Ramechhap, who had received a ticket for the parliamentary seat from NC, was also defeated by the candidate of the left alliance.
The left alliance had issued a ticket for a parliamentary seat to Janardan Dhakal from Rasuwa, who is also director of Surya Chandra Constructions, but he lost the election to another contractor Acharya from NC.
Likewise, NC had also issued tickets to Rajendra Bajagain from Gorkha-1B, who is also managing director of Silver Heritage, and Ramesh Dhamala, former president of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal, for Dhading-2B, but both were defeated in their constituencies.
Moreover, NC had also given a ticket to Rajendra Burlakoti, chief of Narayani Gas, for the parliamentary seat from Chitwan-1, but Burlakoti is way behind Surendra Pandey, a leader of CPN UML, in the latest vote-count.
Similarly, Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation Bikram Pandey, who is also the managing director of Kalika Construction, is competing for a parliamentary seat from Chitwan-3 and is representing the Rastriya Prajatantra Party. As per the latest vote-count, Pandey is also behind left alliance leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Among others, Binod Chaudhary, chairman of Chaudhary Group, Jip Tshring Lama and Bahadur Singh Lama (contractors) and Devi Prasad Bhattachan, chairman of Prabhu Group, are on the proportional representative (PR) list of Nepali Congress.
Similarly, CPN-UML has nominated industrialist Motilal Dugar for a PR seat.
Businessmen who have contested in the provincial and parliamentary elections have said that they decided to join politics to improve the business environment in the country and ease the doing business climate.
Former finance ministers in the fray
Among seven former finance ministers who vied for a parliamentary seat, four of them have won from their constituencies. Two of them have been defeated and vote counting is still continuing in Chitwan-1, where former finance minister Surendra Pandey is vying for a parliamentary seat.
CPN UML leader Bishnu Paudel won the election from Rupandehi 2. Similarly, coordinator of Naya Shakti Nepal party Baburam Bhattarai also won from Gorkha 2. Likewise, CPN Maoist Centre leaders Barshaman Pun and Krishna Bahadur Mahara have won the parliamentary seats from Rolpa-1 and Dang-2, respectively.
Meanwhile, Nepali Congress leaders Ram Sharan Mahat and Mahesh Acharya were defeated in the elections. Mahat had contested the elections from Nuwakot-1 and Acharya from Morang-4.
A version of this article appears in print on December 11, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.