On day 1 of monsoon session in Bihar, RJD MLAs wear helmets, black masks to Assembly

On day 1 of the monsoon session in Bihar, RJD MLAs wear helmets, black masks to Assembly  

Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLAs reached the premises of the Bihar Assembly donning helmets and black face masks on the inaugural day of the monsoon session on July 26, in a symbolic gesture aimed at putting the Nitish Kumar government in a spot over the violence that was witnessed in the House around four months ago.

The MLAs claimed that they were “scared, this government could get us beaten up at whim”, alluding to the incident of March 23 when many party legislators were roughed up by police personnel, called inside the House after the Speaker was held hostage in a desperate bid to thwart the passing of a contentious legislation.

“Nothing less than an apology from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would do. Our leader Tejashwi Yadav is also going to move a motion to this effect before the House,” RJD MLA and the party’s chief State spokesperson Bhai Virendra told reporters.

On the floor of the House, Mr. Yadav and MLAs of his party continued wearing black masks while Satish Kumar, who represents Makhdumpur in Jehanabad district, left everyone amused with his reluctance to take off the helmet.

A bill brought in by the government during the budget session, aimed at giving more teeth to the Special Armed Police, was called “draconian” by the opposition which finally staged a walkout when the legislation was passed through voice vote.

Nonetheless, the police action, in which many legislators sustained injuries and some female MLAs were also humiliated, has left the opposition embittered.

Two police personnel have been suspended for having gone overboard, though Leader of Opposition Mr Yadav has termed the action as an “eyewash”, asserting that a handful were being made scapegoats for an incident that involved many, including some senior officials and legislators belonging to the ruling dispensation.

Proceedings of the House were adjourned till July 27 after obituary references. The five-day session will continue till July 30.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 3:45:56 AM |

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