The alleged misconduct of a BJP leader with a woman MLC on the legislative council premises rocked both houses of the Bihar legislature on Thursday, forcing the council chairman to take cognizance of the incident that occurred a day before.
According to sources, a scuffle broke out on Wednesday between BJP legislators Niraj Kumar Bablu, an MLA, and Lalbabu Prasad, an MLC, over Prasad’s alleged misconduct with Bablu’s wife, Nutan Singh, also an MLC. However, both men later denied having been involved in a disagreement.
Council chairman Awadhesh Narayan Singh said he took note of the issue after several women members raised the matter on Thursday. “I will talk to the women legislators who raised the issue in the council and talk to affected parties before proceeding further on the incident,” Singh told Hindustan Times.
As soon as the council assembled for routine business in the first half on Thursday, Reena Yadav of the JD(U), raised the matter and said the incident brought disgrace to the august house. “BJP talks big about women empowerment, but the conduct of its member is a matter of concern,” she added.
Former chief minister Rabri Devi too joined the issue. “Such type of incident should not have happened. The guilty shall be punished,” she said.
Neeraj Kumar of JD(U) urged the chairman to refer the matter to the ethics committee of the council.
Intervening in the debate, opposition leader Sushil Kumar Modi however said those involved claimed nothing had happened. “I have talked to the persons, who were said to be involved in the incident, but all of them denied it.”
In the legislative assembly, the RJD raked up the issue with Bhai Birendra raising the matter during zero hour and Ejya Yadav raising it in the post-lunch session. Women legislators of the ruling alliance also protested the alleged misconduct.
Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary attempted to pacify the agitated members, saying the incident happened on the premises of legislative council. “The chairman of the council is competent authority to take note of any incident that took place in his jurisdiction,” said Chaudhary.
Meanwhile, deputy chief minister Tejashawi Prasad Yadav condemned the incident and accused Sushil Kumar Modi of trying to defend Prasad.
“It will be known as a black day for the state legislature when a senior BJP leader disrespected a woman MLC from its ally party on the august premises,” said Yadav.
Sources in the council said Bablu has written to the chairman about the whole incident related to Prasad’s misdemeanour, and asked for action against him.