Five JD-U MPs from Bihar resign over Mumbai attacks (Second Lead)November 7th, 2008 - 10:12 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) Five Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MPs from Bihar resigned from their Lok Sabha seats Friday to protest the attacks on north Indians in Mumbai by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) - the first such move by parliamentarians. Alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expressed unhappiness over the move, saying it had not been consulted.The five MPs are Prabhunath Singh, Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’, Kailash Baitha, Meena Singh and George Fernandes. The party has seven Lok Sabha MPs, including one from Uttar Pradesh and one from Lakshadweep.
Led by Prabhunath Singh, leader of the JD-U parliamentary party, the MPs handed over their resignations to P.D.T. Acharya, the Lok Sabha secretary general. The resignations would be handed over to Speaker Somnath Chatterjee as soon he gets well. Chatterjee is ill with chest congestion and in hospital.
BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters: “The MPs had not consulted us before resigning.”
“If this was just a symbolic protest, they should have resigned from the Rajya Sabha. We do not believe in this politics of resignations,” Rudy added.
BJP sources said the party’s parliamentary board would discuss the JD-U issue threadbare and chalk out a suitable strategy.
Meanwhile, terming the resignations as a political stunt, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief and Union Minister for Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers Ramvilas Paswan, who also belongs to Bihar, asked why the JD-U’s Rajya Sabha members had not resigned.
He also accused the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of making a politically motivated move on the MNS issue by threatening to resign.
“Both the parties are wrong in taking such a step. If we have to resign, we should all resign together,” the LJP leader said.
Paswan said his party was adopting a “wait and watch” policy.
Urging Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take the initiative and step down, Paswan said he too had the resignation letters of all his MPs and these could be given to the Speaker in a minute.
The JD-U leaders alleged that people were playing “vote bank politics” over the attacks in Mumbai and that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has become “inactive” and was working under the pressure of central minister Sharad Pawar, leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The NCP along with the Congress forms the ruling coalition in Maharashtra. They have been accused of not doing enough to contain last month’s violence by the MNS activists against non-Maharashtrians, particularly those from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
A youth from Bihar was killed a fortnight ago when MNS activists disrupted a railway recruitment examination in Mumbai. Late last month, suspected MNS activists lynched a labourer from Uttar Pradesh on a suburban train. The quarrel started over taking a window-side seat in the train.