Debating India

JANATA DAL (UNITED)

Fernandes, Sharad Yadav locked in contest

Sunday 9 April 2006, by PARSAI*Gargi

Separate nomination papers filed for Janata Dal (U) president’s post

NEW DELHI: Janata Dal (United) president George Fernandes and parliamentary board president Sharad Yadav are locked in a contest for the post of party president in the ongoing organisational elections. Separate sets of nomination papers for the top post were filed for both the leaders on Saturday.

Four sets of papers proposing Mr. Fernandes’ name were filed from Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. For Mr. Yadav, six sets of papers were filed from Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Bihar is yet to file its nomination, the last date for which is April 10. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is likely to play a crucial role in the election.

Sources said such a situation arose because the merger in 2003 of Samata party, which Mr. Fernandes headed, and the Janata Dal (United), chaired by Mr. Yadav, did not go well at the cadre level. Besides, the party cadre and even office-bearers felt that Mr. Fernandes was not accessible to them. This became obvious during the Bihar elections when the party president did not visit the party office even once, the sources said.

Normally the post of party president is decided through informal dialogue and understanding. However, Mr. Fernandes declared three days ago that he would file his nomination papers for the post on April 8. It is learnt that this did not go down well with the party members.

An electoral college comprising national council members elects the party president. Ten members, comprising one set, file a proposal.

The last date for filing nomination papers is April 10 at the camp office in Patna. On that day scrutiny will be done between 3 and 4 p.m. and withdrawal will be allowed between 4 and 6 p.m. In case of a contest, elections by the national council members (numbering nearly 1,000) will be held on April 11.

JD (U) spokesman Shambhu Srivastava told The Hindu that the party’s plenary session was scheduled to be held in Patna on April 11 and 12. The new National Council is already notified. Nominations for the president’s post are scheduled for April 8 and 9 in Delhi. On 10th they will be at the camp office in Patna.

The national council will meet on April 11 where the new president will be announced. If there is a contest, then the council will vote.

The following day, the plenary will adopt a resolution on the economic and political situation. A separate resolution will be adopted hailing the amendment to the Bihar Panchayati Raj Act providing 50 per cent reservation for women.

See online : The Hindu

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