Bihar Congress to seek disqualification of two defectors from assembly

NewsDrum Desk
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Siddharth Saurav and Murari Gautam

Siddharth Saurav and Murari Gautam

Patna: Bihar Congress will seek the disqualification from the assembly of two party MLAs who walked over to the BJP-led NDA a day ago, a senior leader said on Wednesday.


Congress legislative party leader in Bihar, Shakil Ahmed Khan, was responding to journalists' queries on MLAs Siddharth Saurav and Murari Gautam, who sat alongside the ruling coalition members in the post-lunch session in the assembly.

"We will lodge a complaint with the Speaker about the violation of anti-defection law by both MLAs. We will demand their expulsion from the House," said Khan, whose party's effective strength is now just 17 in the 243-strong assembly.

Khan termed the two MLAs as "gaddar" (traitors), likening them to Mir Jafar, the infamous military commander of Bengal who connived with the British during the Battle of Plassey to become the Nawab.


The two Congress MLAs had switched sides along with Sangita Kumari of the RJD. The trio has kept mum over future course of action and none of them was present inside the House during the pre-lunch session on Wednesday.

However, their felicitation inside the assembly premises on Tuesday by Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary, who is also the state BJP president, is being seen as an obvious signal that they would be joining the saffron party.

Earlier, RJD MP and national spokesperson Manoj Jha, whose party has lost four of its MLAs to the NDA camp, said, "We will definitely seek disqualification. I wonder how the Speaker is allowing this to happen on the floor of the House." Notably, three RJD MLAs -- Chetan Anand, Neelam Devi and Prahlad Yadav -- were allotted seats beside the ruling coalition members a fortnight ago when they also voted against senior party leader Awadh Bihari Chaudhary who got voted out as the Speaker in a no-confidence motion.


Jha also alleged that there has been a groundswell of support for RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who is on a state-wide tour following the loss of the deputy CM's post as a result of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's abrupt return to the NDA.

He alleged this public support has rattled the BJP which is now taking recourse to the use of money power.

"But they do not realise that the RJD has produced thousands of MLAs since it came into being and cannot be cowed down by such antics," he said.

The ruling NDA at present has 134 MLAs, including the ones accused of defection. The strength of the Mahagathbandhan, which includes RJD, Congress and three Left parties, has dwindled to 108.

The RJD has also lost the status of the single-largest party, with its effective strength falling to 75, three less than that of the BJP even if the detectors are not added to the latter's tally.