Opposition remains divided in Bihar as winter session of assembly commences

  • | Monday | 29th November, 2021

Patna, Nov 29 (PTI) Maintaining that the Grand Alliance in Bihar has come apart, the Congress on Monday asserted that all parties opposed to the NDA will do their bit to put the ruling coalition on the mat during the ongoing winter session of the Assembly. Party leaders expressed the sentiment at a meeting of Congress members of both houses of the legislature at the residence of CLP leader Ajeet Sharma. "There is no Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) now," Sharma told reporters when asked about his party’s stand with respect to its recent break-up with the RJD, which helmed the five-party opposition coalition. He also said that the Congress, which was the second largest constituent of the Grand Alliance, must not be taken lightly since "even one MLA elected by people holds significance in the House. We have 19 MLAs". AICC media panellist Prem Chandra Mishra, who is a member of the legislative council, said the Grand Alliance had come into being at the time of the assembly polls to pose a challenge to the NDA. "Inside the House, each party has to chart out its own course," he said. They, however, dismissed suggestions that a divided opposition might be to the advantage of the ruling NDA, saying "all legislators, be they of the Congress, the RJD or the Left parties, have a duty towards their electors and we all must hold the government accountable for its mistakes". Sharma said Congress legislators will stage demonstration outside the Assembly with "chakkis" (grinding stones) to underscore the high poverty rate in Bihar which has been again in the spotlight following a recent report of the NITI Aayog. Mishra said questions would be asked with regard to the state’s botched-up prohibition drive. "We are all for discouraging people from consuming intoxicants. But Chief Minister Nitish Kumar seems to have little imagination to carry it out. He keeps making officials and legislators taking pledges to the effect. We hear he has done it again at the NDA legislators" meeting today. In this fashion, a serious issue becomes a mere show," he maintained. The Congress leader also expressed bewilderment over Kumar"s recent statement that he was not aware of the NITI Aayog report. "Nitish Kumar is an educated man. As a CM, he cannot take recourse to such antics,” Mishra added. Meanwhile, RJD legislators attended a meeting addressed by leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav and other senior leaders. Yadav, whose party has the largest number of MLAs in the Assembly, has made clear his intention to corner the government on the issues of crime, corruption, lack of development and failure to effectively implement the ban on sale and consumption of alcohol. The RJD and the Congress parted ways ahead of the recent by-polls to two assembly segments. The Congress, which wanted to contest one of the seats, took umbrage when the RJD announced its own candidates for the bypolls The grand old party, too, threw its hat in the ring for both. A messy war of words ensued between leaders of the two parties and things hit rock bottom with use of foul language by RJD supremo Lalu Prasad for AICC in-charge of the state Bhakt Charan Das. It was widely speculated that Prasad had been upset with the Congress over its induction of former CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who is of the same age as Tejashwi, and shows potential by virtue of his oratory. The by-elections were won by the NDA. Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) retained both the seats. PTI NAC RMS RMS

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