Free Press Journal

Speaker defers decision on four rebel JD(U) MLAs till July 5


Nitish Kumar

Patna: A decision on termination of the membership of four JD(U) dissident MLAs for anti-party activities was today deferred till July 5 with the Speaker of Bihar Assembly giving them additional time to submit their replies to the notice.

Gyanendra Singh Gyanu told reporters that he and three other JD(U) MLAs – Ravindra Rai, Neeraj Singh Babloo and Rahul Kumar – separately met Speaker Udai Narayan Choudhary and sought a time after end of the current Monsoon session to submit their replies to the show cause notice served to them.

But, the Speaker directed us to submit written replies on July 5, he said.

Gyanu, a friend-turned foe of former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and a MLA from Barh in Patna district, said they had sought time after completion of the session on July 31 as they would be busy in the session and needed time to prepare the replies after consulting legal experts.

Gyanu, who emerged as the leader of the dissidents camp, said he and other JD(U) Legislators fighting “wrongs” within the party were united and “divide and rule” formula would not work.

Rattled by activities of dissidents during the recent Rajya Sabha by-elections in Bihar, the ruling JD(U) had on Sunday decided to crack the whip on four out of 18 MLAs against whom a report was submitted to the party for disciplinary action and recommended to the Speaker to end their membership.

JD(U) Chief Whip Shrawan Kumar had on Sunday last given a letter to the Speaker for cancellation of membership of the four.

The four, who were in the forefront of the dissidents’ camp, were proposers, polling and election agents of two independent candidates – real estate baron Anil Sharma and Sabir Ali – against the party’s official nominees in the Rajya Sabha by-elections.

The dissidents were up in arms ever since induction of 14 ministers in the Manjhi ministry on May 20 and have contested the show cause for termination of their membership.

Ravindra Rai told reporters that the show cause would not stand the test of law.

“The notice states that we are not interested in continuing with the party. But, this was not the case as we are part of JD(U) and do not voluntarily wish to resign,” he said.

Three JD(U) dissidents – Ajit Kumar, Madan Sahni and Rajeshwar Raj – accompanied the four to the Legislative Assembly in a show of solidarity.

Although not served show cause for termination of membership, the three figure among the 18 against whom a report has been submitted to party for disciplinary action.

Ajit Kumar, who was minister in Nitish Kumar’s first term, is an MLA from Kanti in Muzaffarpur. Madan Sahni represents Bahadurpur in Darbhanga and Rajeshwar Raj is MLA from Karakat in Rohtas district.