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LBD members still confused over 'real status'

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, Mar 27: With barely a few hours left for the crucial Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, the 38 members of the Loktrantrik Bahujan Dal (LBD) -- termed as a seperate group by the Supreme Court -- are still clueless about their 'real status'.

While the group's self-styled leader and state minister Rajendra Singh Rana clarified LBD would support the ruling Samajwadi Party members in the election, another member -- on condition of anonymity -- claimed they would elect their new leader tonight.

Meanwhile, returning officer and state principal secretary (assembly) R P Pandey said he was still to recieve the Supreme Court directive. ''I will abide by the speaker's ruling and the old party list, if a copy of the SC directive is not given to me by the group.'' The returning officer said as a group LBD would not be entitled to an election agent during polling.

Mr Pandey said all arrangments had been made for a smooth conduct of polls of the RS and legislative council biennial polls. Polling would be conducted between 0900 to 1500 hrs, while counting of votes would be taken up from 1700 hrs.

He said although whip of political parties would not be effective for the elctions, all the voters have to show their ballot papers to the political parties' agents before casting vote. The ballots of those, who do not follow this rule, would be rejected.

''Votes of all the MLAs will be valid if they show their ballot papers to the agent, even if they vote against party whip.''

Meanwhile, Election Commission has appointed three observers for the polling and counting process of the 10 RS and 13 LC seats elections tomorrow. The central observors are Chief Electoral Officer, UP, Anuj Kumar Vishnoi, principal secretary (PWD) S K Agarwal and LDA vice-chairman B B Singh.

UNI

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