NC taps billionaire Binod Chaudhary as its PR candidateThe Nepali Congress (NC) has picked Binod Chaudhary, the country’s first and only billionaire, as its candidate for the federal parliament under the proportional representation (PR) system.
The Nepali Congress (NC) has picked Binod Chaudhary, the country’s first and only billionaire, as its candidate for the federal parliament under the proportional representation (PR) system.
This marks a major coup for the NC, which is in a bid to counter a left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre), as the businessman-cum-philanthropist was earlier elected to the first Constituent Assembly under the UML’s PR quota.
In a letter to Chaudhary, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba said: “The Nepali Congress welcomes you to play an inspiring role in our collective effort to attain economic development.”
Bal Krishna Khand, chief of the publicity department of the NC for the upcoming polls, confirmed that the NC has included the billionaire in the party’s PR list.
Senior NC leaders said the move of including Chaudhary in the PR list will certainly strengthen the party in the constituency.
Chaudhary is a voter of Nawalparasi-1 from where NC General Secretary Shashank Koirala is contesting the federal elections.
The Chaudhary Udhyog Gram, an industrial area developed by the Chaudhary Group, is located at Dumkauli, Nawalparasi-1, employs around 1,900 workers.
Deep Kumar Upadhyay, Nepal’s former ambassador to India, played a key role in getting Chaudhary into the NC as per the request of Koirala, sources said, adding that Upadhyay shares “cordial and close relation” with the billionaire businessman. The proposal to tap Chaudhary as the party’s PR candidate had received NC President Deuba’s immediate nod, said the sources.
Though Chaudhary had been elected in the first Constituent Assembly under the UML’s PR quota, he had largely remained out of politics in the last many years. There were talks in 2013 that he would contest the elections under the direct election system for the second CA, but he did not file his nomination.
It is learnt that the UML had earlier requested Chaudhary to contest the federal elections against Koirala from Nawalparasi-1.
“After UML prepared to file Chaudhary’s candidacy against NC Shashank Koirala, Upadhyay had expedited talks with Chaudhary,” said a Congress source requesting anonymity. Chaudhary made international headlines in May 2013 when Forbes included him in its notable newcomers list of billionaires. His current net worth is pegged at $1.38 billion. Chaudhary, 62, is the chairman of Cinnovation/Chaudhary Group, a conglomerate of close to 80 companies with interests in banking, foods, cement, real estate, hotels, power, retail and electronics.