February 20, 2015 1:38:49 am
A day ahead of the floor test in the Bihar assembly, the JD(U) has accused RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan, better known as Pappu Yadav, of trying to bribe an MLA into voting in support of Jitan Ram Manjhi’s government.
JD(U) state president Bashistha Narayan Singh called a press conference Thursday and presented the MLA, Sharfuddin from Sheohar constituency. The MLA went on play the recording of a phone call where one of the speakers, allegedly Pappu Yadav, is heard apparently offering a bargain for the MLA’s vote.
Pappu Yadav, the MP from Madehepura, has denied the allegation.
“We are providing proof of what we have been saying all along about horsetrading,” the JD(U) state president said, referring to the audio. “The governor should not have allowed Manjhi such a long time before facing the the floor test.”
A PTI report quoted Bashishta Narayan Singh as also alleging that the efforts to buy MLAs have the backing of the BJP, “which is hand in glove with Manjhi and Pappu Yadav”.
MLA Sharfuddin said he let Yadav speak and recorded his conversation because he wanted to expose him. “Pappu Yadav called me on my mobile and tried to lure me into supporting Manjhi by promising all sorts of things. He said I would be given a minister’s post, money and whatever I wanted should I vote in favour of Manjhi.”
The allegation that Pappu Yadav is rooting for Manjhi comes when his party, with 24 MLAs, has thrown its weight behind Nitish Kumar. Pappu’s relations with party chief Lalu Prasad are strained. Pappu told reporters, “I have not spoken to the MLA. If his allegation is proved, I will quit politics.”
About his alleged support for Manjhi, PTI quoted Pappu as saying, “I am working only to save the poor. I am not a MLA who can mobilise legislators in favour of somebody. I have merely appealed to legislators to vote after hearing the voice of their conscience.”
Lalu Prasad has long dissociated himself from Pappu’s actions, saying the party is not bothered about his personal opinions. Pappu and Lalu’s youngest son, Tejashwi, have been exchanging bitter letters of late over the former’s “rebellious moves”.
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