PATNA: Pandemonium prevailed in the two Houses of Bihar legislature today over state minister Abdul Gafoor's visit to Siwan jail to meet jailed RJD strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin, with opposition BJP demanding his resignation.
Gafoor, the Minority Affairs Minister and an RJD MLA, however, rejected the BJP demand, saying it was not a crime to have a courtesy meet with a former party MP and that he would visit Shahabuddin again if he got a chance.
As the Assembly met for the day, members of BJP and their NDA allies RLSP, LJP and Hindustani Awam Morcha, demanded that the House first take up the Gafoor issue first before any other deliberations.
Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar made the demand to Speaker Vijay Chaudhary who continued with the Question hour.
NDA legislators then trooped into the well of the House shouting slogans against the government.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was not present then.
Prem Kumar said Gafoor going to jail to meet a convict has sullied image of Bihar and hence he should quit and if he does not do so, the Chief Minister should dismiss him.
The Speaker carried on with the Question hour for 15 minutes amidst pandemonium and then ordered adjournment till post-lunch session.
As the Assembly resumed business after lunch break, Prem Kumar sought the reply of the state government on the issue alleging that earlier the ruling party legislators were violating laws and now a minister is doing so.
When Speaker Vijay Chaudhary turned down his plea for a reply from the state government saying it was not the right time for raising the issue, Prem Kumar and other NDA MLAs staged a walkout.
BJP's MLAs did not move cut motion on budgetary demand of the education department because of walkout.
The issue had its echo in the Legislative Council too.
State BJP president and MLC Mangal Pandey demanded the house to take up the issue raised by BJP through adjournment notice first before attending to other agenda.
Chairperson Awdesh Narayan Singh told him to raise the issue after Question hour.
As Question Hour ended, Pandey raised the issue again in the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
After the Chair rejected the adjournment notice, BJP members trooped to the well and shouted slogans.
Amidst the din, Pandey demanded Gafoor's resignation and asked the CM to break his silence on the episode but Kumar sat quietly on his seat. The House was then adjourned till lunch.