PATNA: The decision on termination of the membership of four JD(U) dissident MLAs for anti-party activities was today deferred till July 12 with the Speaker of Bihar Assembly granting them additional time to submit 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 time after end of the current Monsoon session to submit their replies to the show cause notice served on them.
But, the Speaker directed them to submit written replies on July 12, he said.
Along with the four, two more dissidents, Ajit Kumar and Raju Kumar Singh, who were served notice later for termination of membership have also been told to submit their replies on July 12.
Gyanu, an MLA from Barh in Patna district, said they had sought time after completion of the session on July 31 as they were busy in the session and not getting adequate time to prepare the replies after consulting legal experts.
Speaker Udai Narayan Choudhary told reporters that the MLAs were given opportunities to present their point of view to the show cause notice.
Gyanu, who emerged as the leader of the dissidents camp, alleged "mental torture" by denying them sufficient time to give reply.
"We are busy in the ongoing session and due to short duration of time provided to file replies, we were not be able to prepare proper replies. Besides, we have also not been able to devote time to go to our constituencies to solve people's problems," he said.
Asked about future plan, Gyanu said that he and other JD(U) Legislators have no intention to quit the party and would be fighting for democracy within JD(U).
Ravindra Rai echoed similar views.
Gyanu said while two other JD(U) Legislators, Renu Kushwaha and Anu Shukla, also facing threat of membership termination were earlier provided 20 days to submit replies, "we were given only a short duration."
Rattled by activities of dissidence during the recent Rajya Sabha by-elections in Bihar, the ruling JD(U) decided to crack the whip on six 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 and also Parliamentary Affairs minister Shrawan Kumar told reporters that the notice for termination of membership was legal as it was in tune with the 10th schedule of the constitution relating to anti-defection laws.
Kumar, on whose recommendations the Assembly has served notice to dissidents, said they have been charged on five points.
The notice sought to know why they became election agent, polling agent and proposers of Independents in recent Rajya Sabha bypoll against official candidates. Besides, the six have also been charged with provoking other party members against the party and through their activities making it clear that they do not want to remain within the party, he said.
The 18 JD(U) dissidents sit in the treasury bench during ongoing Assembly session but do not interact much with other members of the party.