13 MLA quit RJD, six return later

Patna: Lalu Prasad lead RJD split on Monday as 13 of the 22 RJD MLAs in Bihar announced they have quit the party but six of them later claimed they are not part of the breakaway faction.
The MLAs who quit in a dramatic development pledged support to the Nitish Kumar government.
“In accordance with their request as per an interim arrangement they have been given permission to sit as a separate group,” an Assembly notification said.
Abdul Gafoor claimed that the signature of MLAs were taken for different purposes like raising a matter for call attention motion during the Assembly session.
“I did not sign any letter consciously to leave RJD… a fraud has been committed with me,” Gafoor said.
Lalu Prasad, who is RJD President, downplayed reports of a split in his party, saying he was inquiring into the matter.

“I have heard about it. I am finding out what is happening,” he told reporters in Delhi when asked for his reaction to the split in the party.

Siddiqui alleged that a fraud had been committed on his party at the behest of the chief minister.

He also pointed fingers at Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary for acting promptly on the letter without verifying whether the signatures were authentic.

“A healthy parliamentary practice demands that the Speaker should have called all the 13 MLAs and asked them about their signatures. But, he did not do this and got a notification issued to recognise them as a separate group.”

Siddiqui and the six MLAs accused legislator Samrat Chaudhary, a former minister and son of senior party leader Shakuni Chaudhary, of fraudulently including their names in the list of 13.

“Chaudhary has been lured by the CM with a ministerial berth to indulge in the fraud,” he alleged. Lalit Yadav also denied giving his signature for the purpose of leaving the party.

“If we have to leave the party we will do it in broad daylight,” the MLA from Manigachi in Darbhanga district said.

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