Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fernandes begs for votes, says it may be his last election

Veteran socialist George Fernandes is virtually begging for sympathy votes, telling voters in Muzaffarpur that he was near “my end” and that this could be his last election.

Denied ticket by the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) on grounds of poor health, the 78-year-old politician who is contesting as an independent has been telling campaign rallies: “Please support me.”

“Give me your vote and support for the last time as I am old and near my end. I want to breathe my last as your representative,” an emotional Fernandes has been quoted as saying in his speeches.

One account said Fernandes was unable to address rallies for long although he insisted that he was healthy.

Without naming JD-U leaders Sharad Yadav and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Fernandes has been saying that he was fighting his last political battle.

“I am contesting from Muzaffarpur to challenge my former colleagues,” he said, calling them autocrats who denied him party ticket.

“The (Bihar) government is overlooking atrocities against the poor,” he said.

Fernandes was elected from Muzaffarpur first in 1977 when he was still in jail. The JD-U candidate from Muzaffarpur is Jai Prakash Nishad.