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Consensus eludes JD(U) leaders on presidentship

A last-ditch attempt by Janata Dal (JD-U) senior leaders on Tuesday failed to work out a compromise between George Fernandes and Sharad Yadav.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 19:05 IST

A last-ditch attempt by Janata Dal (JD-U) senior leaders on Tuesday failed to work out a compromise between party chief George Fernandes and JD (U) Central Parliamentary Board Chairman Sharad Yadav for the post of party chief after which polling began amid controversy and boycott by various state units.

The polling by the nearly 1000-strong National Council to elect party president began full six hours after the scheduled start after the National Executive removed the returning officer for the poll Aneel Hegde, a Fernandes loyalist, on the charge of 'going missing' and 'indulging in 'constitutional impropriety'.

Fernandes, who arrived in Patna on Tuesday morning and had talks with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at his official residence, later confined himself to his hotel room and did not visit the venue of the National Council meeting. He remained incommunicado to the press.

Before voting began, party General Secretary Shambhu Shrivastwa told National Council members that the National Executive removed Hegde after taking a serious view of a letter written by him to Sharad Yadav on April 9 in which he had expressed inability to hold the poll as majority of the states had not complied with the party's constitutional obligation of sending the list of active members to the central office.

"Since the electoral college was earlier ratified by Hegde and once the election process was set in motion, it was beyond his authority to stop it. The executive decided to remove him and appoint Subhas Srivastava in his place," Srivastwa said.

First Published: Apr 11, 2006 19:05 IST