The opposition BJP disrupted the Bihar assembly’s proceedings for the third consecutive day on Friday, demanding dismissal of Congress minister Abdul Jalil Mastan over a video clip, which showed him asking his supporters to beat Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph with shoes.
As soon as the house assembled, slogan-shouting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators created a ruckus and made it clear that assembly would not be allowed to function unless chief minister Nitish Kumar sacked Mastan, who is the excise and prohibition minister.
Leader of opposition Prem Kumar said the BJP would not compromise on the issue and continue its protest to expose Mastan and Nitish Kumar’s reluctance in sacking him.
Mastan is the only minister from the backward and under-developed Seemanchal belt, which comprises Purnia, Kishanganj, Araria and Katihar districts with sizeable Muslim population.
However, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), a constituent of the ruling Grand Alliance (GA) in Bihar, on Friday demanded speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary take action against BJP legislator Lal Babu Gupta for allegedly abusing RJD MLA Faraz Fatmi and his father and former union minister Mohammad Ali Ashraf Fatmi in the assembly on Thursday.
“Action should be taken against Lal Babu who abused and used unparliamentary language against Ashraf Fatmi,” RJD legislator Bhai Virender said.
According to the RJD, Mastan would not be sacked from Nitish Kumar’s council of ministers.
“First BJP take action against union minister Griraj Singh and others for publicly abusing RJD chief Lalu Prasad repeatedly,” they said.
Earlier, Bihar Congress president Ashok Choudhary, who is also the education minister, said the BJP’s demand for the sacking of Mastan was baseless.
After much hue and cry over his controversial statement, Mastan on Wednesday apologised to put an end to the row.
The Congress, Janata Dal(United) and the RJD are all partners in the GA.
Mastan’s video, aired on regional news channels, also condemned the Centre’s November 8 demonetisation move. The video also went viral on the social media.
In the video, Mastan was seen addressing a rally in Purnea district’s Amour constituency, and saying that it was Modi who had promised to face punishment if he failed to end people’s woes within 50 days. At the rally, organised on February 22, Mastan had allegedly suggested the crowd to beat Modi’s photograph with shoes and called the Prime Minister a “ Naxalite, terrorist and a dacoit”.