New Delhi/Patna: Ending their estranged relations, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) on Wednesday decided to nominate its senior leader George Fernandes for the bye-elections to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Bihar, despite the fact that he had fought against the party in recent Lok Sabha elections.
Fernandes, 79, who had unsuccessfully contested in the
Lok Sabha elections from Muzaffarpur as an independent
candidate after his party refused to give him the ticket, has
been suffering from age-related illnesses.
Citing his poor health as a reason, the JD(U) had then
offered him a Rajya Sabha seat but he declined, saying he
wanted to serve the people after winning a direct election.
Making the announcement today, JD(U) national
spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari said "the party has decided to
field Fernandes as it candidate for the lone Rajya Sabha seat
which fell vacant in Bihar after the resignation of JD(U)
President Sharad Yadav who became a Lok Sabha MP after winning
Fernandez has left for Patna to file his nomination for
the seat, party sources said. Tomorrow is the last day for
filing nominations for coming Rajya Sabha by-elections.
Fernandes had lost the Muzzafarpur Lok Sabha election to
the JD(U) candidate.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to the Jayaprakash
Narayan International Airport here to receive Fernandes who
arrived from New Delhi late this evening.
Without taking questions from the media at Patna
airport, Kumar accompanied Fernandes to a posh hotel where the
two leaders got closetted in a room for over an hour.
Despite his poor health, BJP-led NDA did not remove
him from the post of convenor. Sharad Yadav has been
functioning as the acting convenor in his absence.