The controversy started after some people close to the BJP allegedly violated the liquor ban in Lakhisarai during Saraswati Puja celebrations last month.
The Bihar assembly has witnessed a stir in recent days and it is none other than the prime minister himself who has given fodder to the opposition this time around. As opposition parties rallied against CM Nitish Kumar demanding apologies and clarifications, the House was repeatedly postponed due to an episode of the Chief Minister’s outburst against Bihar Assembly Chairman Vijay Kumar Sinha, who happens to be a leader of JD(U) ally BJP. Opposition leaders deplore the ‘body language’ of CM Nitish Kumar, who spoke in an admonishing tone and waved an angry finger at the chairman. Ruckus, created by them, had similarly paralyzed the House.
Why did CM Kumar have a heated exchange with the Speaker?
On Monday, the Bihar assembly witnessed a rare situation in which the leaders of the ruling alliance were pitted against each other. A heated discussion took place between CM Kumar and Chairman Sinha as to whether an issue under investigation by the government, and which has also been referred to the Privilege Committee, could be brought up again and again on the floor of the House. Kumar, who is often seen as calm and composed, expressed fear when the chairman asked Minister Bijendra Yadav to inform the House of the steps taken in an incident involving police crackdown in Lakhisarai. This was the second time the Speaker has asked Yadav for an update on the matter. Lakhisarai happens to be the constituency of Sinha.
The speaker apologized to the chairman on Tuesday after apparently being angered at the hands of the prime minister. However, the chairman and the chief minister met late Tuesday night in an attempt to reconcile. The chairman joined the House of Representatives on Wednesday. In an effort to put the matter behind him, the Speaker said that the ‘kaala adhyay’ (dark chapter) should be closed and forgotten. The Speaker, who was himself a BJP leader, concluded his speech with a few verses from the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem ‘kadam milakar chalna hoga’ (we will march together).
What is the Lakhisarai controversy about?
The controversy started after some people close to the BJP allegedly violated the liquor ban in Lakhisarai during Saraswati Puja celebrations last month. Sinha claimed that “mere spectators” were herded, the event organizers who are believed to be close to JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh were allowed to go free. On Monday, an MLA in the House asked whether there had been ‘kurki-jabti’ (seizure of property) from the organizers, in accordance with the provisions of the Prohibition Act. Minister Bijendra Yadav, a JD(U) leader, replied that ‘investigations were underway’.
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