With Patna High Court virtually staying the recognition of Nitish Kumar as JD(U) Legislature Party leader in place of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today, Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary justified his decision saying it was in accordance with rules.
“The state Assembly secretariat decision to recognise Nitish Kumar as leader of JD(U) Legislature Party is lawful and in accordance with the rules,” he told PTI.
The recognition was given by the assembly secretariat on the basis of a letter submitted to it by state JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh about the election of Kumar as the new JD(U)LP leader in place of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi at a meeting of the party.
Manjhi, however, continues to remain leader of the house in his capacity as chief minister.
Former minister and MLA Vijay Chaudhary has the recognition as leader of JD(U)LP in state assembly, he said.
Kumar is a member of Bihar Legislative Council.
The speaker said on the basis of another letter from JD(U) about party National President Sharad Yadav expelling Manjhi so his name should be omitted from list of JD(U) MLAs, the Assembly Secretariat has removed his name from the list and declared Manjhi as an ‘unattached’ member.
Asked to comment on Nitish Kumar’s decision to allow 99 JD(U) MLAs supporting him to sit in the opposition if Manjhi, who has been declared unattached, is called to prove his majority on the floor of the House, he said the decision would be taken when the situation arises.
Quizzed on whether Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi had raised the issue of according recognition to Nitish Kumar when he had met Chaudhary on Monday, the speaker said it was a courtesy meeting and refused to divulge details of it.
Patna High Court hearing a PIL filed by JD(U) MLA Rajeshwar Raj, who is a Manjhi supporter, this morning said “We intend to examine legal application of the letter issued by in-charge secretary of assembly (recognising Nitish Kumar as leader of the JD(U) Legislature Party) so that the letter should have no legal consequences for a decision by the Governor.”