Presidential candidate Suresh Sonthalia (in light blue) seeks support at Sakchi market on Sunday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The fight for posts of office-bearers and executive members in Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) saw candidates raking up issues such as land bank, e-governance and traders’ security that have been plaguing industrialists and businessmen across the state.
Campaigning for the biennial elections of SCCI — Kolhan’s largest trade outfit — slated for Tuesday, gained momentum on Sunday, as candidates had only a day left to garner support.
Those in the fray for posts of 11 office-bearers and 23 executive members went around different marketplaces on Sunday, seeking votes.
Presidential candidate Suresh Sonthalia kept his campaign focus on Sakchi, one of the largest commercial hubs in the steel city.
Sonthalia, in all likelihood, will become the next president, as another candidate Neeraj Mishra has withdrawn from the fray.
Sonthalia will be declared the uncontested president on the day of the election.
Besides Mishra, who withdrew, one Padam Agarwal’s nomination was cancelled. He was fighting for the post of secretary (industry).
Apart from Sakchi, candidates went around Bistupur, Adityapur, Golmuri, Burmamines and other markets to seek support.
Bharat Vasani, who is contesting for the post of vice-president (trade and commerce) said they got overwhelming support from the business community.
“If elected, my priority will be to work for the welfare and development of business community,” he added.
Contesting for the general secretary’s chair, Prabhakar Singh also outlined his priorities. “Creation of a land bank is an important issue. Unavailability of plots is hindering growth and development of industries in Kolhan region. My first agenda will be to address this issue. Ushering in e-governance and implementing industrial procurement policies so that small enterprises benefit are on my priority list too,” said Singh.
According to him, there is also a need to increase membership of the trade body. At present, SCCI has around 1,200 members.
The trade outfit has been headless since May when its president R.K. Agrawal was taken into custody in connection with the 2012 Rajya Sabha cash-for-vote scam.
The polls will be conducted under the supervision of six electoral officers — Murlidhar Kedia, R.N. Gupta, Gopal Harlalka, P.S. Sen, Deepak Dokania and Pannalal Gautam — from 1pm to 4pm at Chambers Bhavan.
Prior to the polls, the members will hold their annual general body meeting at the same venue from 10.30 in the morning to 12.30pm.