Mahagathbandhan cries foul over voice vote in Bihar speaker election

Patna, Nov 25 (IANS) The Mahagathbandhan led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has raised strong objections over the election process for Speaker in the Bihar assembly that took place here on Wednesday.
Tejashwi Yadav, the leader of opposition called the pro-tem speaker’s decision against the rules.
“As per the Vidhan Sabha rules manual, the voting can either be conducted through voice or secret poll and elected MLAs are entitled to stay inside the house. It is the duty of pro-tem speaker to ask non members to go out of the house and ensure that all doors are closed before voting,” Tejashwi said.
“On Wednesday, CM Nitish Kumar who is a member of the legislative council, was present in the house and so was cabinet minister Ashok Chaudhary besides Mukesh Sahani, who is not a member of the Bihar legislative assembly at the time of voice voting,” alleged Tejashwi.
“I have reports about their numbers being low in the House. There were many so-called MLAs who sat in the rear side of the House who participated in voting. We have strong doubts over their identities. Hence, we have demanded that voice samples, signatures and facial recognition of every individual MLA be taken to confirm their identity,” Tejashwi said.
Ajit Sharma, the leader of Congress party in Bihar assembly said: “Leaders like CM Nitish Kumar, Ashok Chaudhary and Mukesh Sahani openly participated in voice voting. It is completely against the rules. Moreover, so many persons whose identity was not established sat on the rear side. It is a complete loot of voting.”
“They formed the government through the back-door. They did the same during voice voting in Assembly. As per the rules manual, if anyone is not a member of house, he/she must be sent out of the House. It is not fair especially when three leaders who are not members of the House were present inside,” said Mahboob Alam, leader of CPI (ML) in Bihar assembly.
The leaders of Mahagathbandhan alleged that the so-called members sitting in the rear of the house were wearing face masks and it is not easy to establish their identities.
“If anyone not entitled, how could they allowed entry for voice voting for selection of Speaker. They were wearing face masks,” said Chitranjan Gagan, spokesperson and general secretary of the RJD.
“Tejashwi Yadav is living in nostalgia for a time when he used to watch Tom and Jerry. So he is cooking up stories to launch false allegations for survival in politics. The false claim of the RJD has been defeated with the election of Vijay Kumar Sinha as the Speaker. Tejashwi should apologise for demeaning the status of the legislative assembly,” said Dr Nikhil Anand, chief spokesperson of BJP’s Bihar unit.

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