George Fernandes Files in as Independent Candidate

In what some say is a pointer towards a shift in post-poll strategies of the Janata Dal – United, party stalwart and minister in the previous NDA government, George Fernandes filed in his nomination as an independent from the Muzaffarpur parliamentary segment in Bihar after being denied a ticket by the party.

The septuagenarian leader was accompanied by JD-U MP Digvijay Singh, former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, and scores of other leaders and supporters.

Fernandes had earlier maintained that he would contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections as a party candidate, but later decided to contest as an independent as the JD-U refused him a party ticket due to his advancing years and failing health.

Quashing reports of failing health, Fernandes said: “It is a big lie, I am healthy,” he said the rumours were being spread by some people.

Meanwhile it is tough times for the JD-U campaign in Muzaffarpur, where party candidate Jai Prakash Nishad, is said to be facing a huge revolt from JD-U ranks and also from alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party.

Political pundits suggest there are cracks in the ruling alliance in Bihar and the JD-U is said to be playing its cards close to its chest and may table them after the LS elections, Fernandes a key minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government is known to be a vociferous proponent of the NDA alliance of which the JD-U is a part at the moment.

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