Rabri: Speaker partisan at Maha Dalit rally, must quit
Sunday's Maha Dalit Unity Rally here has raised the hackles of Bihar's
opposition, with Leader of the Opposition Rabri Devi calling for the
resignation of Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary for his "partisan"
conduct during the event.
The rally, despite being touted as a "non-party" programme by the
National Democratic Alliance, is widely viewed as a major attempt on
its part to woo Maha Dalit voters.
Led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal, opposition members on Monday
repeatedly attempted to halt the Governor's speech on the first day of
the budget session of the legislature by shouting slogans and
demanding the removal of the Speaker.
Prior to commencement of the session, Ms. Rabri Devi visited Mr.
Chaudhary in his chamber and questioned his "neutrality."
"I told him that his behaviour at the rally was most unbecoming of a
Speaker. He cannot toe a particular party line as he is supposed to be
neutral. A Speaker cannot organise a party rally," Ms. Rabri Devi told
Organised by Mr. Chaudhary under the aegis of the Bihar Maha Dalit
Commission, the rally, which saw a massive turnout, had been heralded
as a strictly "non-political/ non-party event" by the Janata Dal
(United) and its alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The RJD-LJP combine has taken exception to Mr. Chaudhary's
sloganeering during the rally, accusing him of "partiality" and
Defending him, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said Mr. Chaudhary was well
within his rights to organise such an event, and the Opposition was
jealous of the NDA government's success in improving the living
conditions of Maha Dalits.
Stressing the "non-political" nature of the event, Mr. Kumar said the
main purpose "was to educate and socially awaken the Maha Dalit
communities." Branding the opposition behaviour in the Assembly
"cheap" and "regrettable," Mr. Kumar dared the RJD-LJP combine to move
a no-confidence motion against Mr. Chaudhary.
RJD State president Abdul Bari Siddiqui said the Opposition parties
would decide on Tuesday whether or not they would bring a
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