Thursday, April 18, 2024
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13 RJD MLAs quit in Bihar, 6 later return

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Patna/New Delhi: High drama unfolded in the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Monday with 13 of the 22 party MLAs in Bihar announcing they have quit the party in a jolt to Lalu Prasad but six of them later claimed they are not part of the breakaway faction.

The MLAs who split the RJD in a dramatic development ahead of Lok Sabha polls pledged support to the Nitish Kumar government.

In a letter to Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary bearing their signatures, the 13 RJD MLAs — five of whom are Muslims — informed him that they were quitting the party.

“In accordance with the request of the 13 MLAs as per an interim arrangement they have been given permission to sit as a separate group,” an Assembly notification said.

The RJD MLAs whose signatures were appended on the letter were Samrat Chaudhary, Raghvendra Pratap Singh, Durga Prasad Singh, Lalit Yadav, Anirudh Kumar, Jeetendra Rai, Akhtar-ul-Islam Sahin, Akhtar-ul-Iman, Abdul Gafoor, Faiyazz, Javed Iqbal Ansari, Ram Lakhan Ram Raman and Chandrasekhar.

Shortly after the revolt, the six MLAs who denied they have left the party, told reporters that they did not consciously sign any letter for walking out of RJD and forming a separate group. RJD Legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui was also present at the media interaction.

Gafoor claimed that the signature of MLAs were taken for different purposes like raising a matter for call attention motion during the Assembly session.

“I did not sign any letter consciously to leave RJD … a fraud has been committed on me,” Gafoor said.

Besides Gafoor, the other MLAs who came to RJD office to deny a split were Lalit Yadav, Faiyyaz Ahmad, Durga Prasad Singh, Chandrasekhar and Akhtar-ul Islam Sahin. Yadav also denied giving his signature for purpose of leaving the party.

Siddiqui told reporters that a meeting of the RJD Legislature party has been called tomorrow at the residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi at 12 noon where some more MLAs would make their position clear.

He alleged that a fraud had been committed on his party at the behest of the chief minister.

JD(U) cultural advisor Pavan Verma, however, said the RJD development is an internal development of the party.

Lalu Prasad, who is RJD president, downplayed reports of a split in his party, saying he was inquiring into the matter.

“I have heard about it. I an finding out what is happening,” he told reporters in Delhi when asked for his reaction to the split in the party.

RJD sources said Prasad was trying to contact each of the 13 MLAs to prevent a split or at least contain the damage.

RJD rebel Samrat Chaudhary, who flew with the chief minister in a helicopter to Khagaria on Sunday to inaugurate a road bridge said, “In the last three months Lalu Prasad has reduced RJD as B team of Congress.

“The party which sent him to jail by tearing up an Ordinance has become the ideal of Prasad who is losing no opportunity to pester its leaders.” (PTI)

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