National

Speaker rejects Manjhi’s charge of bias as ‘baseless’

‘As per rules, there is no provision for a secret ballot’

Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhury on Saturday dismissed as baseless the allegation of outgoing Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi that he was “biased and partisan.”

Mr. Manjhi quit as Chief Minister on Friday ahead of the trust vote.

“All the charges against me are without any substance and far from truth. I acted in accordance with the rules and regulations,” Mr. Chaudhury said.

He explained, with the Assembly rule book in his hand, that there was no provision for a secret ballot for a floor test. “Article 208 of the Indian Constitution and Rule 56 of the State Assembly clearly state how the voting is to be done for the floor test,” the Speaker said.

Mr. Chaudhury defended the seating arrangement he had made for the members. “Their charge of improper seating arrangement inside the Assembly too was fabricated and baseless. Specific seating arrangements were made for the Chief Minister and even for his Cabinet colleagues and the BJP members,” he said.

Mr. Manjhi and the BJP had demanded a secret ballot to prove majority as “open voting would have put the members supporting them in danger.” He and the Cabinet colleagues supporting him had alleged that the seating arrangement inside the Assembly was not proper.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 7:03:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/speaker-rejects-manjhis-charge-of-bias-as-baseless/article6920448.ece

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