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Commonwealth summit turns into political battle in Bihar as RJD leaders protest Sushil Modi’s remarks, walk out

The RJD legislators’ behaviour caused chaos at the conference, which is the sixth India region summit of CPA and is being attended by about 100 delegates from across the world.

Published: 17th February 2018 09:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2018 09:07 PM   |  A+A-

Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi (File | PTI)

Express News Service

PATNA: The inaugural session of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) saw unseemly scenes on Saturday as the legislators of Bihar’s main Opposition party RJD created ruckus and walked out in protest against deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi talking about imprisonment of former chief ministers.

The RJD legislators’ behaviour caused chaos at the conference, which is the sixth India region summit of CPA and is being attended by about 100 delegates from across the world. With RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav having been convicted in fodder scam cases and lodged in a jail near Ranchi since December 23, the RJD leaders dubbed Modi’s reference as a deliberate attempt to insult the regional party.

“Both the central and state governments have taken several steps to eliminate corruption. credibility of legislature has been enhanced. Four former chief ministers have been jailed on corruption charges,” said Modi in his address, sparking loud protests from RJD legislators present at the venue.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, present at the event, urged the RJD leaders to keep silent. “This is not the state Assembly. Please keep quiet or leave the room,” she said. The RJD legislators then walked out of the venue, Samrat Ashok Convention Centre.

“Modi’s statements were a typical BJP way of denigrating political rivals. His words turned this global event into a political platform to target the Opposition party and so we walked out,” said RJD legislator and spokesperson Shakti Singh Yadav.

Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejaswi Yadav of RJD, who is also Lalu’s son, also attacked Modi. “He did not speak about the corruption and criminal charges faced by several BJP leaders. He is himself accused of involvement in the multi-crore-rupees Srijan scam and even CM Nitish Kumar is an accused in a murder case,” said Tejaswi, who had skipped the event in order to visit the family of CRPF jawan Muzahid Khan who was killed in Jammu and Kashmir.

But Modi justified his statement and found unequivocal support from leaders of BJP and its ally JD(U). “I had not named anyone. Besides, he (Lalu) is in jail after being convicted for corruption in the multi-crore-rupees fodder scam. He has been convicted in three cases,” said Modi.

Chief Minister and JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar, who was present at the event as the chief guest, strongly advocated reservation for women in parliament and state Assembly. “No concrete step towards Women’s empowerment can be taken unless a law for reservation of seats for women in parliament and the Assemblies is passed,” he said in his address.

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