NEW DELHI/PATNA: Unfazed by the Patna High Court order staying his election as leader of the JD(U) Legislature Party, former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday met President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi.
Kumar requested the President to intervene and instruct the Bihar governor to take an immediate decision since any delay would only encourage horse-trading.
Accompanied by party president Sharad Yadav, RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, Samajwadi president Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nitish also took 130 MLAs to the Rastrapathi Bhawan to prove his majority. After meeting Mukherjee, Nitish said, “The President heard all our issues and said that he would look into the matter.” Nitish added, “There is a clear majority on one side. In Patna, we paraded 130 MLAs and today also they are standing here with me and one can see where the majority is. Despite this, not paving way for formation of the government is an injustice and playing with democracy.”
He said that they have told the President not to wait till the Budget session. Though he refused to respond to statements of Jitan Ram Manjhi, Kumar said the current CM of Bihar should be given a chance to prove his majority.
Nitish wanted a special session of the Assembly and called for a trust vote to test his strength before the State’s Budget session that begins on February 20.
He argued that it must be clear whose government will prepare the governor’s address made at the beginning of the Budget session.
The former CM alleged that this was a conspiracy by the BJP to bring President’s rule in Bihar. Lalu Prasad Yadav said that they are expecting the governor to take a decision immediately since they have met the President in this regard.
Nitish’s recent move to become Bihar Chief Minister once again faced a fresh roadblock when the Patna High Court stayed the Assembly Speaker’s decision to recognise him as leader of JD(U) Legislature Party in place of Manjhi.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice L N Reddy and Justice Vikash Jain issued the direction on a PIL filed by Rajeshwar Raj, a JD(U) MLA from Karakat and a Manjhi loyalist. Just a few days back, a letter issued by Hareram Mukhiya, secretary in-charge of the Assembly, said Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary recognised Nitish as the new leader of the Legislature Party.
Earlier, Nitish was elected as leader at a legislative meeting called by party president Sharad Yadav and attended by 97 MLAs. However, Manjhi called the meeting illegal and unauthorised as only he has the power to call a meeting of the Legislature Party.
AAP Factor forces bjp to do rethink on fishing in troubled bihar jd(u) waters
The AAP’s resounding victory in Delhi appeared to have forced the BJP to recalibrate its position in Bihar. After previously assuring support to CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, the BJP on Wednesday made a U-turn and said JD(U) should let the governor take a call on the issue, and that even the ‘floor test’ demand was JD(U)’s “internal matter” as it was demanded by Manjhi. It also added that it would keep “all options open” and take a decision on the floor of the House. Sources said after the AAP victory mandate, the party is cautious in taking a lead in helping Manjhi retain his post and may take a hands-off approach. However, the party dubbed Nitish Kumar a horse-trader.