The Patna High Court on Monday dismissed two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) that challenged the formation of the new government after Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar called off his party’s alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress to ally with the BJP. After hearing all parties, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A K Upadhyay dismissed the two PILs, saying no intervention of the court is required after a floor test in the state Assembly.
While one PIL was filed by RJD MLAs Saroj Yadav and Chandan Verma, the second one was filed by Jitendra Kumar, a Samajwadi Party member. On Friday last, the Patna High Court had adjourned the matter for Monday. The petitions state that the mandate Nitish Kumar got as the leader of the Grand Alliance or the Mahagathbandhan in the 2015 state assembly elections was against the BJP and was for a period of five years.
Terming the formation of the new government as “unconstitutional”, the petitions stated that the RJD being the party with maximum number of seats should have been called first to form the government. However, after Nitish Kumar’s resignation from the CM’s post, the party was not given any such opportunity and Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi instead invited Nitish Kumar to form government, bypassing the constitutional provisions set in this regard, the PILs state further.
Earlier in the day, senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav finally broke his silence over Nitish Kumar splitting the grand alliance and joining hands with the BJP to form an alliance government, describing the turn of events as “unfortunate as the people’s mandate had been violated”. Speaking to reporters outside Parliament on Monday, Yadav said: “I don’t agree with the decision in Bihar, it’s unfortunate. The mandate by the people was not for this.”