Patna, Jun 3 (PTI) A ruling BJP legislator who stirred a hornet's nest here by calling Nitish Kumar a 'chief minister of circumstances' has been served a show-cause notice by the saffron party.
Bihar BJP disciplinary committee head Vinay Singh has slapped party MLC Tunna ji Pandey with the notice for his 'amaryadit' (uncharitable) statement against the CM.
'Pandey has been asked to furnish a reply within 10 days explaining why the party should not initiate any action against him,' Singh told PTI on Thursday.
The saffron party MLC created unrest within the ruling NDA coalition when he said that RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav was the one who won people's mandate for the post of the chief minister, but Nitish Kumar got the chair 'circumstantially' -- drawing flak from his party leadership.
Unrepentant, he further told a TV channel that he would like to know where lies the mistake in pointing out that the 'leader of the party (JD-U) that came third (in the polls) has become the chief minister'.
Lalu Prasad's RJD emerged as the number-one party in the 243-member state assembly during last years assembly elections, followed by the BJP and the JD(U).
Despite numbers stacked against the JD(U), the BJP fulfilled the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home minister Amit Shah, and Kumar was made the CM.
The BJP and the JD(U), along with Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Mukesh Sahni's Vikassheel Insaan Party, has formed a coalition government under Kumar.
Earlier, too, when Kumar had partnered with the RJD and the Congress to form the Grand Alliance government in 2015, Mohammad Shahabuddin, a former MP and a close aide of Lalu Prasad, had called Kumar a 'circumstantial chief minister' as RJD had more MLAs than the JD(U).
Shahabuddin, a four-time RJD MP from Siwan who was serving jail term in Tihar, recently died of COVID-19.
The JD(U), taking strong exception to Pandey's statement, has asked the BJP to do the needful.
'Kumar has been leading the NDA for long... There is a strong understanding between our party and the BJP, which forms the foundation of the NDA coalition and has been functioning well. Earlier, we had more numbers than the BJP, and now it's otherwise, but all within the coalition,' JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad stated.
He also said that the responsibility to discipline its 'badzuban' (bad-mouthed) leader lies with the BJP.
Opposition RJD, however, lapped up the issue to sharpen its attack on Kumar.
'What wrong did he (Pandey) say...he merely reiterated the opinion of people, who gave maximum seats to the RJD after a hectic campaign by Tejashwi Yadav,' party spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwary said.
Pointing out that HAM chief Jitan Ram Manjhi had also targeted the prime minister on the vaccination drive, questioning why Modi's photograph has been on the inoculation certificate alone, and not on the death certificates of COVID-19 victims, Tiwary claimed that 'discontentment is brewing in the ruling coalition'.
'How many people will they take into task to stop them from speaking the truth,' Tiwary added.
Speculation is rife that Lalu Prasad, who recently walked out of the jail after having got bail in the last of four fodder scam cases, might come to Patna around the time of his birthday on June 11, further heating up the political situation in the state.
Prasad, who is currently putting up in his Rajya Sabha MP daughter Misa Bharti's Delhi residence, had recently held a video conference with RJD MLAs, and some of the party legislators even met him in the national capital. PTI SNS RMS RMS