Bihar: Five MLCs from Lalu's party join rival Nitish's JD(U)
In what brings bad news for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), five MLCs of the party resigned to join JD(U), the party of rival Nitish Kumar, reports said on Tuesday. This development comes just days before the Bihar Legislative Council polls, which are scheduled for July 6. RJD's count is now down from eight to merely three. JD(U)'s number has swelled to 21.
MLCs won't be charged under anti-defection law
The politicians who jumped ships are Radha Charan Shah, Sanjay Prasad, Dilip Rai, Md Kamar Alam, and Ranvijay Kumar Singh. They won't be charged under the anti-defection law, as their strength forms for two-third of the MLCs which RJD has. Reena Devi, the chief whip of JD(U), forwarded the letter of their formal joining to the acting chairman of the legislative council.
JD(U) is now the single-largest party in the council
The strength of the 75-member council is down to 46 as 29 seats are vacant. BJP has 16 MLCs and the support of one independent in the council. Nine seats became vacant after their representatives retired in May. Earlier, RJD announced that its patriarch Lalu Prasad Yadav would be selecting candidates for the upcoming polls. The party's parliamentary board empowered Yadav for this.
Yesterday, RJD members created ruckus outside Rabri Devi's home
On Monday, a bunch of disgruntled RJD members staged a protest outside former Chief Minister Rabri Devi's residence, demanding candidature for a veteran leader. Speculations suggested RJD is planning to give tickets to upper castes, non-Yadav OBCs to show itself as an inclusive party, before the state assembly polls, due for later this year. Upset supporters from Raghopur reminded the party's top brass of promises.
Top brass called limited workers for talks, they left angrily
The members demanded RJD to fulfill the promise of giving a berth to Uday Narain Rai, who has represented the area in the 1970s and 80s. He didn't contest from there in the 2015 Assembly polls to help Tejashwi Yadav, the heir apparent of Lalu Yadav. When not "more than 15 people" were called for talks, the workers labeled it an "insult" and left.
Jitan Ram Manjhi could also return to JD(U)
While exiting the area, the workers told reporters, "Tejashwi Yadav may have to pay the price in assembly polls." Reports suggested more people from RJD will join JD(U) in the coming weeks as they aren't happy with the leadership. Meanwhile, Jitan Ram Manjhi, who joined the grand alliance after quitting JD(U), might return to his parent party as he is upset with RJD.