PATNA: JD(U) Legislature Party Leader in Bihar Legislative Assembly Vijay Kumar Chaudhary today asked Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary to recognise his party as the main opposition in the House and accordingly make seating arrangements for them in the House.
The JD(U) has expelled Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi from the party and he continues to be the Chief Minister as an unattached member of the Assembly, he said in a letter to the Speaker.
Apprising the Speaker that the JD(U) has decided to oppose the Manjhi government in the House and decided to sit in the opposition, Chaudhary urged the former to recognise his party as the main opposition and accordingly make sitting arrangements for his party MLAs in the House.
The newly-appointed JD(U) LP leader informed the Speaker that his party has the largest number of MLAs in the Assembly, but refrained from divulging the exact figure.
The JD(U)'s decision to seek recognition as the main opposition party in the Assembly is aimed at putting the BJP in a fix over its stand on the Manjhi government.
The Speaker had recognised the BJP as main opposition in the Assembly in June 2013 after the then chief minister Nitish Kumar had sacked the saffron party ministers before severing ties with its long standing ally over elevation of Narendra Modi as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.
The BJP has 87 MLAs in the house.
Though the JD(U) has 111 MLAs, about a dozen of them had not attended a meeting called by the party's national president Sharad Yadav on February 7 where the former chief minister Nitish Kumar was elected its legislature party leader in place of Manjhi.
Claiming that the Jitan Ram Manjhi government in Bihar was not enjoying the backing of any mainstream political party, the senior JD(U) leader told a press conference, "A piquant situation without any parallel exists in Bihar at the moment as an unattached member (Manjhi) heads a government with the support of a dozen MLAs."
"I want to know which party is supporting the Manjhi government, but there is no answer in sight," Chaudhary, a former Water Resources Department (WRD) minister in the Nitish Kumar and Manjhi governments, said.
While four major parties - JD(U), RJD, Congress and CPI in addition to an independent MLA with collective strength of 130 MLAs - are opposing the Manjhi government, there is no political party, not even BJP, which has come forward to support the Manjhi government, he pointed out.
Chaudhary also disapproved of the Chief Minister's announcement of sops for different sections of society and said that his party will take up the matter with competent authority at an appropriate time.