Five JD(U) MPs resign from Lok Sabha over north Indian issue
Five JD(U) MPs today resigned from Lok Sabha stepping up pressure on the Centre on the issue of attacks on North Indians in Congress-ruled Maharashtra.india Updated: Nov 07, 2008 17:09 IST
Five JD(U) MPs today resigned from Lok Sabha stepping up pressure on the Centre on the issue of attacks on North Indians in Congress-ruled Maharashtra.
"What option did we have when the Constitution is under attack and that the unity and integrity of the country is in peril in the wake of the incidents in Maharashtra?" JD(U) Lok Sabha leader Prabhunath Singh asked.
He was talking to reporters minutes after he and four other MPs -- George Fernandes, Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lallan', Kailash Baitha and Meena Singh, submitted their resignation to Lok Sabha Secretary General P D T Achary.
They had sought an appointment with Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee but could not meet him as he is unwell and hospitalised.
The resignations have come at a time when politics is hotting up in Bihar on the issue of the attacks allegedly by the Raj Thackeray-led MNS and the JD(U) MPs even made an oblique attack on RJD chief Lalu Prasad as also LJP leader Ramvilas Paswan for failing to quit the Union Cabinet on the issue.
"When the Central government is being seen surrendering to the divisive forces, ministers from Hindi region are wanting to enjoy power and not leave their posts," they said.
Singh accused Prasad of displaying "chipko" (sticking to the chair) behaviour and dismissed RJD charges that the JD(U) was instrumental in breaking the unity of leaders from Bihar on the emotive issue.
Prabhunath and Rajiv Ranjan said the JD (U) planned to launch a campaign in Bihar, starting from Motihari, which is associated with Mahatma Gandhi, to tell people how the Centre has failed to protect the north Indians.
"We will later take the campaign to other Hindi-speaking parts of the country," Singh added.
Making a scathing attack on Lalu Prasad for suggesting that the MLAs and MLCs of the JD (U) should also resign, he said the RJD was attempting to impose President's Rule in Bihar instead of Maharashtra.
"Some people are acting as a joker...Some have lost mental balance," he said.
To a poser on Paswan's claim that the JD(U) was only "sacrificing its finger not head" for the cause of north Indians, Singh said the LJP has not even sacrificed its "nails" for the purpose.
Dismissing charges that the JD (U) was attempting oneupmanship and had breached the unity of Bihar leaders on the issue, he said even now RJD and LJP MPs can resign. "Why did they failed to take initiative. The decision taken by the JD(U) MPs was that of its parliamentary party.
"Our Rajya Sabha members have not resigned as they will raise the issue when Parliament meets again (on December 10). Even if that fails to make an impact, we will think on a new course of action," Singh told reporters outside Parliament.
In a memorandum submitted to the Speaker, the JD (U) MPs also made a veiled attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "It appears that the shoulders on whom the constitutional responsibility rests are weak. They are unable to take the responsibility," it said.
Though the Supreme Court has observed that strong political decisions were needed to stop such incidents, "we regretfully do not see any capacity to take such decisions," the JD(U) MPs said.
The JD(U) MPs also demanded the immediate arrest of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his nephew and MNS chief Raj Thackeray. "The chacha-bhatija duo are together fuelling violence against north Indians. Their arrest only will make a difference," said Prabhunath Singh.
The MPs alleged that Congress-NCP government was backing the MNS tirade against north Indians. "In the past too, when Congress was in power Bal Thackeray had launched a campaign against south Indians," the MPs claimed.
They reminded the Speaker that as per the constitutional provisions, the Centre was free to act against any state where people are targetted on regional basis. "If the state government fails to check such incidents despite warnings, the Centre could also impose President's Rule to dismiss such governments," they said in the memorandum.
"They are our friends...We are not married to them," remarked the JD (U) leader when asked about BJP's annoyance on the party's decision to resign from Lok Sabha.
First Published: Nov 07, 2008 17:01 IST