Opposition NDA on Tuesday announced boycotting Bihar minister Abdul Jalil Mastan in the Assembly, a day after taking a similar move in the Legislative Council for his “uncharitable” remarks against the Prime Minister. NDA MLAs came to the Assembly wearing black ribbons as a mark of protest against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar not sacking the excise and prohibition minister. Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar said the NDA’s boycott of Mastan would be in the form of neither asking questions to him in the House nor listen to any of his statements. Mastan, a Congress MLA, was in the House when Kumar announced this.
On Monday, The NDA took a similar decision in the state Legislative Council. It has decided to boycott Mastan in both the Houses as part of its strategy to intensify protest for his removal from the cabinet for his unsavoury remarks.
On February 22, during a protest against demonetisation, Mastan was caught on camera asking a crowd at Amour in Purnea district to hit a photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with shoes.
The video purportedly shows Mastan telling the people to hit the photo with shoes. Subsequently, some of the protesters were seen hitting a photo, kept on the stage, with shoes in Mastan’s presence.
The video was telecast by television channels on February 28, triggering a protest by the NDA in and outside the Houses.
Prem Kumar told reporters that BJP would show the video to people across the state to take the issue in “people’s court”.
Besides staging protest in the Legislature, the BJP and its NDA partners have also submitted a memorandum to Governor Ramnath Kovind demanding sacking of the minister who has apologised for the incident.