Protests over ministers selection gets shriller in Bihar

Patna: Protests within ruling JD(U) over selection of 14 new ministers in the Jitan Ram Manjhi cabinet in Bihar got shriller today with over a dozen legislators coming together to express their ire against choice of "turncoats" and "those who worked against party".

A day after induction of 14 new ministers in Bihar, over a dozen disgruntled JD(U) MLAs met at the residence of legislator Gyanendra Singh Gyanu to protest giving preference to "turncoats" and those "who worked against party interest in the cabinet." Gyanu, who is coordinator of state JD(U) disciplinary committee, confirmed to reporters about over a dozen party MLAs assembling at his home.

He, however, refused to disclose their names. Gyanu, MLA from Barh in Patna district and once considered very close to Nitish Kumar, along with state party spokesman Neeraj Kumar have been on forefront of the protest. He released two letters he has written to JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav and state party chief Basistha Narayan Singh seeking expulsion of Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and RCP Singh respectively for "causing disaster to the party." In his letter to Sharad Yadav against Lallan, who was made a minister yesterday and given department of Road Construction, Gyanu drew his attention towards him working to ensure defeat of some party leaders in recent election to Legislative Council.

Lallan had "abused" Nitish Kumar and on my recommendation as head of Disciplinary committee he was suspended from JD(U) on the eve of 2010 Assembly poll. "Unfortunately he was taken back into party recently without any information to me and rewarded with ticket to contest Lok Sabha poll from Munger which he lost badly," he told reporters. "As state coordinator of disciplinary committee I request you to expel Lallan from the party and throw him out of cabinet," he said in his letter.

In separate letter to state party president, Gyanu complained against RCP Singh, Sanjay Kumar Singh and Lallan Saraf, both MLCs, for packing their own men in the 125-member booth committee in the general election. This resulted in disaster for the party reducing it to 2 seats out of 40 in Lok Sabha poll, he said and sought expulsion of the three from JD(U).

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