Five JD-U parliamentarians quit over Mumbai attacks, BJP unhappy (Lead)

November 7th, 2008 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) Five Lok Sabha members from the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) resigned from parliament Friday to protest the attacks on north Indians in Mumbai by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists, leaving major National Democratic Alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unhappy.The five MPs are Prabhunath Singh, Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’, Kailash Baitha, Meena Singh and George Fernandes. Most of the JD-U MPs are from Bihar, whose natives have been allegedly targeted by the MNS in Maharashtra.

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 is in hospital.

The JD-U leaders alleged that people were playing “votebank politics” over the attacks in Maharashtra 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 and the Congress lead the ruling coalition in Maharashtra and 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.

Reacting to the developments, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters here: “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, which was expected to meet late Friday night, would also discuss the JD-U issue threadbare and chalk out a suitable strategy.

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