Sunday, April 29, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Laloo expels three party MPs
RJD splits in Lok Sabha

New Delhi, April 28
The RJD party in the Lok Sabha split tonight. Three of the seven party MPs — Nagamani, Anwarul Haq and Sukh Deo Paswan — met Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi late in the night and presented him a letter seeking separate recognition for them as a group by the name RJD (Democratic).

Dissident leaders Ranjan Prasad Yadav and Kumkum Rai, both Rajya Sabha members, accompanied the three MPs to the Speaker.

Earlier in the day RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav expelled three party MPs, including its deposed working president and Rajya Sabha member Ranjan Prasad Yadav, for six years for “anti-party” activities.

The others are Rajya Sabha member Ben Dharma Virio and Lok Sabha member Nagmani.

The decision was taken by the RJD National Executive, which met here on the first day of its two-day meeting today.

Mr Laloo Prasad said the expulsion would “strengthen” the party. Mr Ranjan Yadav was earlier replaced by Mr Ramdeo Bhandari as the RJD leader in the Rajya Sabha.

Mr Laloo Prasad said the expelled leaders were playing into the hands of communal forces such as the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The Rajya Sabha Chairman and the Lok Sabha Speaker had been informed of the expulsion, he informed.

The three leaders were “weakening” the forces of social justice and their further continuance in the party would have frustrated the party's objectives.

He said he had sufficient evidence to prove the complicity of Mr Ranjan Yadav and the others with the “communal forces.”

Sources close to Mr Laloo Prasad claimed the expulsion would have no adverse impact on the RJD in Bihar as Nagmani represented the Chatra constituency of Jharkhand and Bhante Dhamma Biriyo, a Buddhist monk, had no mass following. The RJD President, in fact, had already announced he would not be given the party ticket for the Rajya Sabha for a second term.

Mr Laloo Prasad’s selective punitive action, observers feel, was aimed at pre-empting a split in the RJD Legislature Party in Bihar and was indicative of his decision of not taking any disciplinary action against the MLAs loyal to Mr Ranjan Yadav, some of whom even attended today’s meeting.

Prominent among the Ranjan camp-followers, who attended the meeting were Mr Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Mr Monazir Hassan, Mr Samrat Chaudhary, Mr Sheetal Ram and Mr Surendra Prasad Singh. UNI, PTIBack

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