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Fernandes faction boycotts party election

By Staff
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Patna, Apr 11 (UNI) Amid mounting tension, Mr George Fernandes faction of the JD (U) today boycotted the scheduled poll for election of the party president, alleging nepotism in appointment of returning officer for the secret ballots and dictatorial attitude of the rival faction.

JD (U) general secretary and party spokesman Shambhu Shrivastava said the election was necessitated following failure of the last ditch effort to persuade either of the two contenders - Mr Fernandes and JD (U) parliamentary board chairman Sharad Yadav - to withdraw from the contest paving the way for an unanimous choice to the topmost post in the party.

A free for all situation prevailed in the conference hall, marred by fisticuffs among supporters of the rival leaders, creating an ugly scene.

Delegates from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu boycotted the election process in support of Mr Fernandes.

Supporters of Mr Fernandes alleged that removal of Anil Hedge from the post of the returning officer at the last minute was unconstitutional and demanded that Mr Hedge's letter advocating for postponment of election to the post of party's national president should be made public.

UNI/RS-DH SJC SC ND1810

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