Parliamentary proceedings against three JD(U) MPs of Lok Sabha facing charges under anti - defection law have been withdrawn by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar following a request by the party.
Accepting JD(U)’s request withdrawing its complaint against the MPs - Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’, Sushil Singh and Mangni Lal Mandal, Ms. Kumar on Thursday dropped the proceedings against them.
In a letter to JD(U) Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Ranjan Prasad Yadav, joint secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat, V.R.Ramesh informed him that the Speaker has “acceded to your request to withdraw the petition filed by you under 10th schedule of the Constitution (Anti-defection Law) against Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’, Sushil Singh and Mangni Lal Mandal.”
Mr. Yadav had written the letter to the Speaker on June 22 requesting for withdrawing the earlier petition filed by JD(U) seeking the disqualification of three MPs on the charges of anti-party activities.
The JD-U’s decision came against the backdrop of changed political equations after it parted ways with BJP-led NDA.
Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’ belongs to influential Bhumihar caste and was the state president of JD(U) before he fell out with Nitish Kumar.
Bhumihars are considered a strong support base of BJP.
Sushil Kumar Singh belongs to another influential upper caste community Rajput. JD(U)’s arch rival RJD has three of its four MPs belonging to this caste.
Mr. Mandal is an influential OBC leader in north Bihar.
The agenda regarding the JD(U) petition to disqualify three of its Lok Sabha MPs under the Tenth Schedule was pending for months with the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha chaired by P.C.Chacko.
JD(U) had suspended ‘Lalan’, Sushil Singh and Mangni Lal Mandal last year for anti-party activities.
Party chief Sharad Yadav, parliamentary party leader Ram Sundar Das and deputy leader Ranjan Prasad Yadav had met Ms. Kumar with proof of their anti-party activities and strongly pleaded for termination of their membership.
Sources alleged that ‘Lalan’ actively campaigned for Congress candidates during the election, while Mandal was allegedly caught on tape asking party workers to ensure the defeat of JD(U) candidate from Jhanjharpur.