PATNA: Citing the Karnataka example of the single largest party being invited to form the government, Bihar Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav of RJD on Thursday demanded dissolution of the state’s NDA government and an opportunity to RJD to form the government.
Yadav, who is the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, is set to meet Governor Satya Pal Malik with this demand on Friday noon. He also asked all MLAs of RJD, Bihar’s main Opposition party, to be present in Patna on Friday. RJD’s allies – Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) – supported the 28-year-old Tejashwi’s call for staking claim to forming a government.
“RJD was and remains the single largest party in Bihar. I am meeting the Governor at 1 PM tomorrow to demand immediate dissolution of the NDA government led by Nitish Kumar as per the example set in Karnataka,” said Tejashwi to reporters.
“When (JD-U president and CM) Nitish Kumar quit our grand alliance in July, RJD staked claim. I sat on a dharna outside the Raj Bhawan all night. But the then Governor rubbished our claim and allowed the post-poll alliance of JD(U) and BJP to form the government,” he added, terming the action of then Governor KN Tripathy “severe injustice to democracy”.
The grand alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress had won Bihar’s 2015 Assembly polls, beating the BJP-led NDA. After the grand alliance ruled for 20 months, with Tejashwi Yadav as deputy chief minister, CM Nitish Kumar walked out of the alliance on July 26, 2017 due to prolonged differences with RJD. The Lalu Prasad Yadav-led party had emerged as the largest party with 80 MLAs in the Assembly polls.
With Kumar’s JD(U), which had 71 MLAs, joining hands with BJP, which was Bihar’s main Opposition party at the time with 53 MLAs, a JD(U)-BJP government was sworn in the next day. Kumar’s new NDA government proved its majority comfortably the next day with the support of 131 MLAs, nine more than the magic figure of 122 in Bihar’s 243-member Assembly. An injured RJD accused JD(U) of “betrayal of mandate” and staged statewide protests.
“RJD is the largest party in the Assembly, and we (Congress) are with them. So we must be given the opportunity to form the government and 15 days’ time to prove majority,” said state Congress acting president Kaukab Quadri. Congress has 27 MLAs in Bihar.
JD(U) and BJP leaders dismissed the demands raised by RJD and Congress. “Tejashwi is an under-matric person, and he has no idea of arithmetic. He must understand the Governor takes decisions based on the situation at the time and by using his discretionary powers and conscience,” said JD(U) MLC and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.
“In politics, a past solution of a crisis cannot be used for all fresh situations. The crisis of one state cannot also be compared to that of another,” said deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi of BJP. Without naming RJD, he added: “Some people are trying to impede Bihar’s progress by creating a situation of instability”.