With a faction of his MLAs parting ways with the RJD, Lalu Prasad on Tuesday rushed to Patna to bring his house in order and blamed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for hatching a “conspiracy” to break his party. “Nitish hatched a conspiracy with the speaker to break my party. But, it went wrong and the whole country has seen the conspiracy,” Prasad told reporters at the Patna airport.
RJD saw a major upheaval on Monday with 13 out of its 22 MLAs quitting the party. But six of them later returned and denied walking away from the party. A meeting of RJD legislature party has been called at the residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi, in which Prasad will be present along with other top leaders. There are reports that three more rebel RJD leaders, whose names figured in the list of 13, visited Rabri Devi’s house last night and denied they had parted ways.
While Prasad flew to Patna, Kumar left for Delhi just a few minutes after the arrival of RJD leader, but they did not see each other at the airport. The MLAs, who split from the RJD, had pledged support to the JD(U) government. In a letter to Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary bearing their signatures, the 13 RJD MLAs – five of whom are Muslims – had 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 had 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, six MLAs denied they have left the party and said that they did not consciously sign any letter for walking out of RJD and forming a separate group.
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.
Arvind Kejriwal has now proposed the name of K K Sharma, Chief Secretary of Goa.