In a jolt to Lalu Prasad ahead of Lok Sabha polls, the RJD split today as 13 of the 22 RJD MLAs in Bihar announced they have quit the party but six of them later claimed they are not part of the breakaway faction.
Patna: Lalu Prasad's RJD in Bihar on Monday split with 13 of the 22 legislators of the party pledging support to the Nitish Kumar government, but six of them later claimed they are not part of the breakaway faction.
The 13, including five belonging to the minority community met at the residence of party MLA Samrat Chaudhary and wrote a letter to Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary withdrawing allegiance from the RJD and expressing support to the Nitish Kumar government.
Lalu Prasad Yadav
RJD MLA Javed Iqbal Ansari confirmed to PTI that 13 party MLAs wrote to the Speaker withdrawing their allegiance from the RJD and expressing support to the JD(U) government of Nitish Kumar.
The RJD MLAs who walked out were Samrat Chaudhary, Raghvendra Pratap Singh, Durga Prasad Singh, Lalit Yadav, Anirudh Kumar, Jeetendra Rai, Akhtar-ul-Islam Sahin, Akhtar-ul-Iman, Abdul Gafood, Faiyazz, Javed Iqbal Ansari, Ram Lakhan Ram Raman and Chandrasekhar.
Samrat Chaudhary, the son of senior RJD leader Shakuni Chaudhary, alleged that Lalu Prasad had turned his party into the 'B team' of Congress in the last three months.
Shortly afterwards, accompanied by RJD Legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui, the six MLAs told reporters that they did not consciously sign any letter for walking out of RJD and forming a separate group.
Abdul Gafoor claimed that the signature of MLAs were taken for different purposes like raising a matter for call attention motion during the Assembly session.
"I did not sign any letter consciously to leave RJD ... a fraud has been committed with me," Gafoor said.
Besides Gafoor, the other MLAs who came to RJD office to deny a split were Lalit Yadav, Faiyyaz Ahmad, Durga Prasad Singh, Chandrasekhar and Akhtar-ul Islam Sahin.
Siddiqui told reporters that a meeting of the RJD Legislature party has been called tomorrow at the residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi at 12 noon where some more MLAs would make their position clear.
Party chief Lalu Prasad, meanwhile, said that he would talk to the MLAs as communalism was a threat to India.
Asked about the split in the party, Lalu Prasad said, "We are finding out the facts, I have heard about it but it's not all true."
"Communalism is a threat to the country. I would suggest to the MLAs not to quit the party. We will talk to them," he said.