Four JD(U) MLAs were disqualified today from the Bihar Legislative Assembly for anti-party activities, the Assembly secretary in charge Hareram Mukhiya said.
Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary passed the verdict in his court in the presence of four JD(U) MLAs against whom the ruling party had initiated proceedings for termination of their membership for anti-party activities, he told PTI.
The disqualified JD(U) MLAs are – Ajit Kumar (Kanti, Muzaffarpur), Raju Singh (Sahebganj, Muzaffarpur), Poonam Devi Yadav (Khagaria) and Suresh Chanchal (Sakra, Muzaffarpur).
Chaudhary disqualified these four rebel JD(U) MLAs under the provisions of the anti-defection law, Mukhiya said.
The Speaker had reserved his order on disqualification proceedings against these four JD(U) MLAs last month, the Legislative Assembly secretary in-charge said.
With disqualification of four MLAs, the JD(U)’s strength in the state Legislative Assembly has come down to 111.
The BJP has 88 members in the House followed by RJD (24), Congress (5), CPI(1) and Independents (5).
Four rebel JD(U) MLAs – Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, Neeraj Singh Bablu, Ravindra Rai and Rahul Sharma on same charge -were disqualified under the anti-defection law for anti-party activities last month.
The disqualification of eight MLAs so far, however, does not pose any threat to its government in Bihar as the RJD, Congress, CPI and three Independents continue to extend outside support to the JD(U) government since last year.
The disqualified MLA Suresh Chanchal said that the aggrieved legislators were not given proper chance to present their case during hearing of disqualification proceedings against them.
The Speaker had passed a unilateral verdict after meting out similar treatment to his four other erstwhile colleagues, Chanchal said.
He said that they would move a court challenging their disqualification from the House as all of them had faith in the judiciary.
The JD(U) Chief Whip Shrawan Kumar welcomed the Speaker’s decision on a proceeding initiated by him and said that the disqualified lawmakers deserved punishment for working against their party.
These four MLAs had broken party discipline and indulged in anti-party activities by working for another party which the party leadership took note of and initiated proceedings against them under the anti-defection law, Kumar, who is also the Rural Works Minister in Jitan Ram Manjhi government, said.
“You cannot remain member of one party and work of another as it amounts to breach of discipline and indulgence in anti-party activities,” Kumar, a close aide of the former chief minister Nitish Kumar, said.
In a strong warning to other rebel ruling party MLAs, he said they should also be prepared for strict against them and anti-defection proceedings would be initiated against them soon, but in an incremental manner.
The rebel MLAs include Rajiv Ranjan who was recently suspended from the party for six years after he was made NDA’s Nalanda district convenor despite being a ruling JD(U) MLA.
The suspended JD(U) MLA had dared the party leadership to take whatever action it deemed fit and said that he would not move court even if he was disqualified from the House under the anti-defection law.