The RJD chief blamed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for plotting the rebellion in the party
In a show of strength, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday declared the ‘return’ of nine of the 13 ‘rebel’ MLAs who broke away from the party on Monday to form a separate bloc.
The party is in talks with one more MLA, Raghvendra Pratap Singh, to press him to return. Mr. Prasad ruled out any action against the remaining three rebels Samrat Chaudhary, Javed Iqbal Ansari and Akhtar-ul-Iman.
Surrounded by the nine MLAs and other party leaders, Mr. Prasad led a boisterous march to the Vidhan Sabha and the Raj Bhavan, on foot and on a rickshaw. RJD supporters raised slogans against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary, some throwing stones at the Speaker’s residence on the way.
Challenging Monday’s circular, in which the Speaker recognised the 13 MLAs as a separate bloc, the party sought its withdrawal.
Mr. Prasad alleged that the Speaker had “ripped apart” the Constitution.
In a dramatic display, RJD supporters raised slogans against Mr. Kumar and Assembly speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary.
The nine MLAs who attended the meeting at Mr. Prasad's residence incuded: Jitender Rai, Durga Prasad Singh, Anirush Kumar, Lalit Yadav, Abdul Gafoor, Ram Lakhan Ram Raman, Chandrashekhar, Akhtar-ul-Islam Sahin and Faiyaz. Ahmed.
A day after crisis gripped the Rashtriya Janata Dal which saw several of its MLAs defecting, party chief Lalu Prasad rushed back to Patna from Delhi on Tuesday.
He will chair a high-level meeting of party leaders and MLAs at his residence.
On his arrival Mr. Prasad blamed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for plotting the rebellion in the party.
"We have not removed anyone. There was no issue in the party. What does the law say on defections? We have to examine it. How can there be an approval for a separate group?" he told reporters.
Mr. Prasad said he will clear the air on the defection drama after the meeting. "This is the conpiracy of Mr. Kumar. We will give you all the details," he said.
On the likely tie-up between the Lok Janshakti Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr. Prasad said he still hoped for Mr. Paswan's support.
"All we can do is hope," he said in response to questions on the possible BJP-LJP alliance.
Meanwhile, the LJP's parliamentary board is slated to meet in Delhi on Tuesday.