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RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav meets Bihar governor, stakes claim to form govt

The move came after the Karnataka governor invited BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa on Wednesday night to form the government in the state on the basis of being the leader of the single-largest party.

india Updated: May 18, 2018 19:54 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
Tejashwi Yadav,Bihar,RJD stakes claim
Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav meets Bihar Governor Satyapal Malik for staking claim to form the government in the state on the grounds of being the single largest party in the Legislative Assembly, in Patna, on Friday.(PTI)

Leaders of Bihar’s principal opposition party the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress on Friday met governor Satyapal Malik to stake a claim to form the government in the state as they upped the ante against the BJP for allegedly ignoring constitutional norms in Karnataka.

“There is one Constitution in India and one rule. What applies in Karnataka should also apply in Bihar,” Leader of the opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said.

Yadav led the march to Raj Bhawan of legislators of the RJD, Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation in the afternoon and said the RJD was the single largest party and should be invited to form the government by the governor as it happened in Karnataka.

The opposition’s march came after Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala invited the Bharatiya Janata Party’s BS Yeddyurappa on Wednesday night to form the government in the state on the basis of being the leader of the single-largest party. The BJP has 104 seats of its own and claims to have the support of one Independent MLA.

The Congress won 78 seats and Janata Dal (Secular) 37 seats in the southern state and said they have the numbers to run the 224-member House. The bloc also claimed the support of two independent candidates and an MLA of the Bahujan Samaj Party, which is an ally of Devegowda’s party.

Congress’ Bihar unit president Kauqab Quadri along with senior party MLAs and MLCs, former health minister Tej Pratap and RJD’s senior MLA Bhai Virendra were also present in the march.

Yadav said the RJD, Congress and CPI-ML with 111 MLAs would easily pass the floor test if invited to form the government by the governor.

“Several JD(U) MLAs are also in touch with us and ready to switch sides as they are unhappy with chief minister Nitish Kumar and the denial of the special status category to Bihar by the Centre,” Tejashwi said.

But going by the number, the RJD-led bloc is short by 11 MLAs to reach the magic figure of 122, required number to prove the majority in the 243-member state assembly in Bihar.

Observers say the RJD and Congress’ joint show to stake claim to form a government in Bihar was in sync with the grand old party’s strategy to launch a major offensive against the BJP in wake of the ongoing political joust in Karnataka.

It was also seen as an attempt by the RJD to needle the Nitish Kumar led NDA government, which was formed in July 2017 after the chief minister broke the grand alliance and tied up with the BJP to continue on the top post.

Tejashwi did underscore the point by saying the BJP’s bid to form the government in Karnataka was in sharp violation of set practices and rules and similar to what happened in Bihar last year.

He also lambasted the chief minister for not clarifying his stand on the government formation by the BJP in Karnataka in gross violation of rules. “Why is Nitish Kumar mum on the Karnataka episode?” he asked.

The opposition leader did not clarify on the party’s strategy if they failed to get an invite to form the government from the Raj Bhawan in coming days.

“The governor has given a patient hearing to our pleas and has sought time to take a decision. We will wait for his decision,” Tejashwi said.

Asked whether the RJD would move a no-confidence motion against the Nitish Kumar-led government, Yadav was ambiguous. “We will plan our strategy soon,” he said.

Later in the day, RJD MLAs staged a dharna at Gardanibagh to protest against the dictatorial attitude of the BJP and violation of constitutional norms in the formation of the Yeddyurappa-led government.

First Published: May 18, 2018 19:53 IST