NDA candidate Vijay Kumar Sinha (in photo) was elected Speaker of the new Bihar Assembly today amid ruckus by the Opposition over the presence of chief minister Nitish Kumar and his two other Cabinet colleagues during the voting in the House. While the chief minister is a Member of the Upper House, his Cabinet colleagues Ashok Chaudhary and Mukesh Sahni are not members of any House right now.
Sinha who happens to be the first legislator from the BJP to occupy the post got 126 votes against 114 polled by Grand Alliance candidate Awadh Bihari Chaudhary. This was the first time in 51 years that state assembly witnessed voting for the Speaker’s post. The last time the election was held for this post was in 1969.
The voting was marked by chaos, uproar and massive protests by the opposition Grand Alliance members who strongly objected to the presence of the chief minister and two of his cabinet colleagues in the House during the voting process. Angry opposition members trooped into the well of the House and sought for their removal from the House before voting process is started. They refused to calm down despite repeated appeals by pro-tem speaker Jitan Ram Manjhi.
“Chief minister Nitish Kumar along with several cabinet colleagues are present in the House though not being Members of the Bihar assembly. There is no precedent of the chief minister who is not a member of the Bihar assembly present in the House during the election of a Speaker while Ashok Chaudhary and Mukesh Sahni are not the members of any House. How can they be present in the House?” wondered Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav. He alleged after “stealing” the people’s mandate, these NDA leaders have brought further shame to the democracy.
Amid bedlam, the voting process started after which NDA candidate Sinha, an engineer-turned-politician, was declared elected the Speaker. The contest for the Speaker’s post is clear indication of how the going would be tough for the new NDA government who won the election with waferthin majority.