Bihar’s Grand Alliance targets assembly speaker, says it’s a pre-emptive strike
JDU leaders said Bihar assembly speaker VK Sinha was sent the notice for a motion to remove him after it learnt that Sinha was planning to act against lawmakers of the RJD and Congress for disruptions in the assembly over the Special Armed Police Act in March this year
PATNA: Legislators of the Grand Alliance (GA) have sent a notice for removal of Bihar assembly speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha, soon after Nitish Kumar met the governor on Tuesday and stepped down as the chief minister of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, senior Janata Dal United leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said.
“The notice signed by more than 50 MLAs was sent through email on Tuesday and a hard copy of the same was submitted to the assembly secretariat on Wednesday,” said Chaudhary, adding the motion against VK Sinha, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) keader, will be the first to be taken up by the House when it meets to enable Nitish Kumar move a trust vote.
Under Article 179 (c) of the Constitution, an assembly speaker can be removed from office by a resolution of the assembly by a majority vote.
JDU leaders said the GA leaders swung into action after they heard that the speaker convened a meeting of ethics committee headed by BJP leader Ram Narayan Mandal, and got a fresh report on the chaos in the assembly during the enactment of the Special Armed Police Act in March last year.
“We got suspicious about the motive of the speaker as he refused to go by the convention to resign from the post. He called an urgent meeting of the ethics committee and got a fresh report, which can lead to disqualification of membership of members of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and the Left parties on the charges of indulging in violence in the assembly in March 2021,” said a second senior JDU leader.
“The report was so devastating that it might lead to disqualification of a few members,” said a committee member and RJD MLA Ram Vishun Singh, who refused to sign it citing factual flaws. “I wonder why the speaker asked to submit a fresh report when the committee submitted its final report in February this year,” said Singh.
A deputy secretary-rank official at the assembly secretary said he was told to submit the report to the speaker at his residential office on Wednesday morning. “If the speaker got the report laid on the floor and approved the disqualification of members, whose numbers are said to have gone up to 32, amidst likely bedlam, it might be difficult for the GA to prove its majority,” said former Congress MLA Harkhu Jha, adding that it will require a prolonged legal battle to restore the membership.
Jha further explained that as the no-confidence notice has been served on the speaker, any decision taken by him until disposal of the motion would be null and void.
Assembly speaker VK Sinha refused to comment despite repeated calls and text message by HT. Acting secretary of the assembly Pawan Kumar Pandey said he was not aware if Sinha intended to quit on his own.