The Opposition in Bihar on Thursday stuck to its demand for the resignation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his alleged involvement in a Rs 11,412 crore scam, a day after a slipper was flung at the assembly speaker amid unruly scenes.
And, upping the ante, 11 legislators of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Thursday resigned from the assembly to protest the "partisan" role of the speaker over their suspension.
The 11 legislators were among the 67 suspended Wednesday for unruly behaviour in the assembly, which has witnessed violent clashes between the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Opposition members in the last two days.
In view of the political turmoil in the state ahead of assembly polls later this year, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan arrived in Patna from New Delhi to finalise a joint strategy with other Opposition parties on the issue.
The RJD-LJP combine also planned a march of their suspended legislators to the Raj Bhavan to present a memorandum to Governor Devanand Konwar.
The resignations of the 11 LJP legislators came a day after the state Congress urged all Opposition legislators to resign en-masse to press for early dissolution of the assembly.
They submitted their resignations to LJP state president Pasupati Kumar Paras.
"It was shocking for us that the speaker suspended only Opposition legislators and spared the ruling parties legislators. The speaker singled out the Opposition legislators for unruly behaviour in the house," he said.
Paras hinted that the resignation was a part of a strategy to continue their protest against Nitish Kumar for his alleged involvement in the scam.
"Our legislators will meet the governor to apprise him of the situation," RJD's chief whip Ram Chandra Purve told IANS in Patna.
RJD's deputy leader in the house Shakil Ahmad Khan said RJD-LJP leaders would take their agitation to the streets after protesting in the house.
"We will not sit silent over the biggest-ever scam in Bihar revealed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report that resulted the ordering of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe by the Patna High Court," said Khan, one of the suspended legislators.
LJP state president Pasupati Kumar Paras said Nitish Kumar's image had been sullied and his claims of good governance exposed.
"Nitish Kumar's image received a major setback. He is now a chief minister with corruption charges," he said.
The Left parties, including the Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India-Marxist and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), have decided to stage a daylong sit-in July 23 over the scam.
"The Left parties have decided to launch an agitation against the Nitish Kumar government's move to suppress the irregularities of Rs 11,412 crore in the state," CPI-M leader Sarvodya Sharma said.
Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi are among the 47 people named in the court complaint alleging irregularities of Rs 11,412 crore during 2002-08 in Bihar.
Petitioner Arvind Kumar pointed at financial irregularities in the use of development funds.
The Patna High Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the complaint, a move the government has appealed against.