BJP's Vijay Sinha elected Bihar Assembly Speaker
BJP's Vijay Sinha elected Bihar Assembly Speaker

BJP's Vijay Sinha was on Wednesday elected as the Speaker of Bihar Assembly amid ruckus by the opposition Congress and RJD MLAs.

This is the first time, since the JD(U)-BJP alliance came to power in 2005, that the saffron party will have a Speaker.

As Sinha occupied the chair, BJP members greeted him with "Modi, Modi", "Vande Mataram" and "Jai Sri Ram" slogans.

The BJP, which had formerly played second fiddle to the Chief Ministers party, outperformed JD(U) in the assembly polls, winning over 30 seats more than the latter. BJP won a total of 74 seats in the recently concluded stste polls while JD(U)'s tally went down to 43.

Both the ruling NDA and the opposition Grand Alliance had fielded their respective candidates for the Speaker's post. This was the first time in the last 50 years that a contest for the election for Speaker's post was held. In 1969, Ram Narain Mandal had defeated Dhanik Lal Mandal by six votes.

Sinha, who was the candidate of the ruling NDA, got 126 votes as against 114 polled in favour of RJD's Awadh Bihari Chaudhary who was fielded by the opposition Grand Alliance.

The voting was marred by rumpus caused by opposition members who protested presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the floor of the House on the ground that he was a member of the legislative council.

The chair, however, overruled the objection saying being leader of the house the chief minister's presence is legitimate.

The opposition also demanded voting by secret ballot which was turned down by pro tem Speaker Jitan Ram Manjhi who went ahead with headcount after dissatisfaction was raised by the opposition over voice vote.

Later, the chief minister, Deputy Chief Ministers - Tar Kishor Prasad and Renu Devi - and opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav escorted Sinha to the Speaker's chair.

Vijay Kumar Sinha, who was a minister in the previous Nitish Kumar government, had on Tuesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah "for reposing trust in me and demonstrating, yet again, that in the BJP an ordinary worker can scale great heights".

Earlier, senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi accused Lalu Prasad of calling up newly elected MLAs of the NDA to lure them.

Modi also released a purported audio clip of an alleged telephonic talk of jailed RJD leader Lalu Prasad with NDA MLA Lallan Paswan.

"Everything is recorded. I thought everybody is congratulating me on the victory, so they are also going to do the same," Paswan said, adding that he was at Modi's residence when he received the call.

(With PTI inputs)

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Free Press Journal