The Rashtriya Janata Dal on Friday suffered its first major setback after losing share in the Bihar government with the Legislative Council rejecting the party’s request to declare former chief minister and MLC Rabri Devi as the Leader of Opposition due to lack of adequate numbers in the House.
Bihar Legislative Council Deputy Chairperson Haroon Rasheed said, “RJD has just seven members as against nine members in the House of 75.” The RJD’s claim of being the largest Opposition party and seeking the position on “discretionary ground” was not considered. Rabri met Rasheed to plead her case, reportedly asking why she was being denied the position if Ghulam Gous was made Leader of Opposition from the RJD after 2005 Assembly polls. She was told that the RJD had at that time the required nine seats to get the position.
RJD state president Ramchandra Purbe said that they had staked claim for the post as Rabri is second-time MLC and the party is the largest in Opposition. “It would have been a good gesture. The Council chairperson could have used his discretion to do so,” Purbe said.
JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said, “RJD chief Lalu Prasad wants all for the family. The Council functions as per norm and denial of the position to RJD is very much as per norm.”
JD(U) has 30 legislators, followed by BJP’s 23, RJD’s 7 and Congress’s 6 in the Legislative Council.