Special Correspondent

Appeal follows incidents of misconduct by MLAs, Ministers

Raises possibility of `counselling' for NDA legislators Says Chapra incident will not drive a wedge between his party and BJP

PATNA: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday appealed to his Ministers and legislators to be disciplined and not sully the image of the party and his Government.

His appeal comes after Janata Dal (United) MLA Gopal Mandal allegedly occupied the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) guesthouse in Bhagalpur.

The BSEB has asked Assembly Speaker Udai Narain Chaudhary to intervene and evict Mr. Mandal who has been using the premises for over six months without proper authorisation.

Power Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav denied knowledge of the incident and said he would look into the matter.

In Chapra, a JD(U) legislator Ram Pravesh Rai got into a public argument on Monday with Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Sports Minister Janardan Singh Sigriwal, who got the support of a Zilla Parishad member for the election for chairmanship on June 30.

Both were taken to the local police station. Mr. Sigriwal held a dharna demanding Mr. Rai's arrest and transfer of the Chapra Superintendent of Police. The BJP has reported the incident to its central leaders for appropriate action.

Mr. Kumar talked about the necessity of "a counselling session" for all the National Democratic Alliance legislators.

He said the Chapra incident would not drive a wedge between the BJP and the JD(U). Party leaders would discuss the issue and resolve the matter. He said it was a clash of interests at the individual level, and that the two parties were not at loggerheads.

Pandey arrested

PTI adds: JD(U) MLA Sunil Pandey, charged with creating ugly scenes at a posh hotel and threatening mediapersons, was arrested from his official residence here on Monday night. He was

released on bail, Senior Superintendent of Police Kundan Krishnan said on Tuesday.

Mr. Pandey was caught on camera by a TV channel creating scenes at the hotel when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was present in the premises for an official function.

Embarrassed by the incident, the JD(U) on Monday served a show-cause notice asking Mr. Pandey to reply within 10 days.