LJP seeks explanation from its lone Bihar MLA for voting in

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favour of JD(U) nominee in Dy Speakers poll Patna, Mar 25 (PTI) Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party on Thursday sought explanation from its lone MLA in Bihar Raj Kumar Singh for voting in favour of JD(U) candidate Maheshwar Hazari in Deputy Speakers election.

Hazari was elected deputy speaker of the legislative assembly Wednesday polling 124 votes against zero scored by the opposition Grand Alliance which kept away from the House in protest against eviction of their members from the assembly by the police when they were agitating against the police bill Tuesday.

LJP's national secretary general Abdul Khaliq served a letter to Singh, an MLA from Matihani constituency in Begusarai district, asking him to explain his side immediately for supporting the JD(U) candidate.

Party's Bihar unit spokesman confirmed issuance of letter to the legislator.

The matter has caused severe embarassment for the LJP whose president Chirag Paswan had fought the recent Bihar polls on its own with the intent to ensure defeat of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party.

The LJP which had gone to fray without its founder Ram Vilas Paswan, who had died shortly before the state election, had fielded over hundred candidates but could win the lone seat of Matihani.

'The party has learnt that you have voted in favour of JD(U) candidate Maheshwar Hazari during election held for the post of Bihar legislative assemblys deputy speaker on March 24 without consulting the party in this regard,' Khaliq said in the letter.

'Such an act is not expected from you. Taking the matter seriously, the party directs you to give your 'explanation' immediately in this regard,' the letter further said without specifying any time-frame.

When approached for his reaction, Singh told PTI that he has merely followed the partys directive given during the election held for legislative assembly speaker post in November 2020.

'I had sought direction from the party leadership during speakers election and I was told that since we are part of the NDA, so we have to vote for the ruling coalition.

'I just followed the same directive and voted in favour of the NDA nominee for Dy Speakers post,' Singh said.

Vijay Kumar Sinha of the BJP had won speaker's election.

I dont know whether partys policy has suddenly changed and if there was any change in its policy, I should have been informed about it,' he said.

The LJP legislator not only participated and voted for the JD(U) nominee in the deputy speaker's election, but had also heaped praise on the chief minister while extending his greetings to Hazari upon his victory.

After LJP's only MLC Nutan Singh quitting party and joining BJP, it seems Singh is likely to chart the same course.

LJP had received a setback when Nutan Singh, who is married to Neeraj Kumar Singh alias Bablu, a BJP minister in the state, crossed over to her husbands party in the presence of its state unit chief Sanjay Jaiswal on February 22 last.

The LJP had fielded its candidates in all seats contested by the JD(U). In many places, Chirag Paswans party had given tickets to the BJP rebels to ensure rout of Kumar's party in the elections.

Though the party could not score much in the polls, it is widely believed in the political circles that it caused damage to the JD(U) in the 2020 elections bringing down its tally to 43 originally. Later the lone BSP MLA crossed over to Kumar's party to increase its number to 44.

But, post-election, the LJP has witnessed significant erosion of strength with its over 200 middle and lower rank leaders crossing over to the JD(U) on February 18.

Though, Chirag Paswan has said several times that his party is still part of the NDA at the national level and has also publically expressed his loyalty towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the acrimony between him and the JD(U) refuses to end. PTI AR SNS SNS