Calcutta, July 4: The Indian Jute Mills Association, the apex body representing the interests of jute mills, today re-elected Raghavendra Gupta as the chairman of the association for 2014-15 even as members remained divided in their choice.
IJMA today held its 129th annual general meeting and elected Gupta, the chief executive of Vijayshree Ltd, as the chairman over jute industry veteran Sanjay Kajaria. There are 33 members in the association.
According to industry sources, the election is usually based on a consensus and there is not much of a contest.
Kajaria, who has served as the chairman of the association for a combined duration of 10 years, had appealed to the members to elect him by highlighting the failures of the association in addressing the issues of the industry over the last few years.
He had pointed out that the association had lost the “confidence of its custodians — the central and state governments”.
Speaking to The Telegraph later in the evening, Kajaria said, “The decision was already made even before the election.” According to him, IJMA is no longer a “pressure group” and the body is unable to present its case in a proper fashion.
Gupta, however, said the election highlighted the unity among the members. “The immediate priority of the association is to address the lack of orders of jute bags,” he said.
Kajaria continues to be a part of the 14-member committee of IJMA.