September 22, 2020

Ex-CM Rabri Devi likely to get status of leader of opposition in Bihar

PATNA: With two more members of RJD winning the Bihar legislative council polls, former Bihar CM Rabri Devi is likely to become the leader of opposition in the upper house.

Last year, the legislative council had rejected the RJD’s request to appoint Rabri as the leader of opposition on plea that the party did not have required number of members needed for the post. Then, the party had only seven members in the council.

Earlier, RJD’s Gulam Gaus was given the status of leader of opposition when the party had a strength of nine in the council.

Quoting the precedence of Gulam Gaus, the council acting chairman Haroon Rashid, while rejecting the RJD’s request in August 2017, had pointed out that a strength of minimum nine MLCs is required for the post of leader of opposition in the upper house but RJD had only seven MLCs.

But as per the council’s rule, a party on opposition should have minimum 10 members is the house to make a claim for the post of leader of opposition. “But in the same rule, the chairman has been given some discretionary powers to grant the status of leader of opposition,” said a senior member of the council.

Though Rabri Devi’s current six-year term in the upper house is set to expire on May 6, she along with two other leaders of her party —Ram Chandra Purbey and Syed Khurshid Mohammad Mohsin– got elected as members of the council in the just concluded elections.

Rabri and two elected members of RJD will take oath of membership of the council after May 6, leading the party’s strength to 9.

Sources in the RJD said, once the party get strength of 9 in the upper house after May 6, it would again request the council acting chairman for appointment of Rabri Devi as leader of opposition.

Contacted, Rashid told TOI on Friday that he would take a call on the issue of granting status of leader of opposition when the matter was brought before him.

However, the RJD leadership strongly believe that Rabri would this time be granted the status of leader of opposition.

Her younger son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav is already the leader of opposition in the assembly. “Once Rabri is notified as leader of opposition in the council, it would be for the first time in the history of Bihar legislature that mother-son duo will be leader of opposition in both the houses,” said an official of Bihar assembly.

BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi was the leader of opposition in the 75-member upper house during Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance government in the state. But when Nitish dumped the grand alliance on July 26 last year and formed a new government with BJP on July 27, the RJD, with its seven members, came in the opposition in the council.

Courtesy: TNN

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