M A I N   N E W S

Mayhem in Bihar House
67 Opposition legislators suspended, marshalled out
Slipper hurled at Speaker
Din continues outside Assembly
Cong MLC goes on rampage
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

The Issue

The Opposition is gunning for the CM in the wake of a CAG report on ‘misuse’ of development funds. The Patna High Court has suggested a CBI probe into the irregularities in expenditure of Rs 11,412 crore on a PIL filed on the basis of the report. The state government has filed a plea in the HC stating that the CAG report was under scrutiny of a House panel.

Patna, July 21
As many as 67 Opposition legislators were on Wednesday suspended for unruly behaviour in the Bihar Assembly while demanding Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's resignation over financial irregularities.

Chaos reigned supreme in the House for the second consecutive day after it opened at 11 am. The Opposition legislators trooped towards the Speaker, shouting slogans against the CM and the state government. The din continued, forcing Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary to suspended the MLAs --- mostly from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Left --- for the remaining session.

Even after being suspended, the unruly members were not ready to leave the House and finally had to be marshaled out (physically removed) by the watch and ward staff.

In the melee, someone from the Opposition benches hurled a slipper at the Speaker. However, it did not hit him.

The drama continued even outside the Assembly, with a Congress legislator Kumari Jyoti going berserk. She broke the flowerpots and threw them at the watch and ward staff. Jyoti was among the 14 legislators suspended from the Legislative Council a day earlier. She was agitated over not being allowed to enter the Council.

The Opposition — the RJD, the Congress and the LJP were demanding resignation of the CM in the wake of a CAG report on ‘misuse’ of development and welfare funds. The Patna High Court has also suggested a CBI probe into the irregularities in expenditure of Rs 11,412 crore on a PIL filed on the basis of the said CAG report. The state government has filed an Interlocutory Application (IA) in the HC stating that the CAG report was under scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Assembly and no parallel probe can be carried out by any other agency until and unless the panel submits its findings to the state government.

Later, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi gave a statement in the Assembly that the state government was ready for a debate on the issue in the House. There was no one on the Opposition benches when Modi was reading out the government’s statement. The remaining two days of the Monsoon Session will continue without the Opposition legislators.

Meanwhile, RJD-LJP workers on Wednesday burnt an effigy of Nitish Kumar in front of the main gate of the Assembly. Seventy-six legislators continued their overnight sit-in inside the Assembly and another three protested outside the main gate.

RJD state president and legislator Abdul Bari Siddiqui said the Opposition members spent the night in the Assembly to protest the attack on them by ruling party members. LJP legislator Maheshwar Singh said Nitish Kumar is behaving like a dictator by trying to suppress the voices of the Opposition that raised the issue of his alleged involvement in looting of crores of taxpayers’ money.





Lalu plot, cries JD(U)

Patna, July 21
Ruling JD(U) in Bihar today accused RJD leader Lalu Prasad of “masterminding” the chaotic scenes by Opposition members in the two Houses of the Assembly as part of a “design to mislead” the people.

“Lalu is an epitome of corruption.. his name is synonymous with corruption and thus everywhere he sees corruption”, party spokesman Shivanand Tiwari told reporters here.

He alleged that Prasad who had remained in power in Bihar for 15 years and at the Centre for five years had become "desperate" and was attempting to tarnish the image of the Nitish Kumar government.

Castigating Prasad for equating the non-reconciliation of Abstract Contingent bills with the multi-crore rupees fodder scam, Tiwari said they were totally different. — PTI



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