Ahead of Speaker's election in the Bihar Legislative Assembly, the ruling NDA has alleged that RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav is trying to poach the MLAs in a bid to topple the Nitish Kumar government. An audiotape of Lalu has emerged wherein he could be heard speaking to the ruling alliance's MLA Lalan Paswan. Lalu asks him to abstain from the House during the Speaker's election.
"Listen Paswan ji, we will promote you...help us in the Speaker's election tomorrow. We will make you minister... will pull down (the government) tomorrow," Lalu told the MLA.
The MLA then told Lalu that he has to abide by the party's decision. "...abstain from House. Tell them that you have corona. Help us to get our Speaker," he told the MLA.
The newly constituted assembly in Bihar is all set to witness its first trial of strength with both the ruling NDA and the opposition grand alliance fielding their respective candidates for the Speakers' post.
Election to the post is scheduled for Wednesday. While the NDA has fielded senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Sinha for the post, the grand alliance has nominated Awadh Bihari Chaudhary of RJD.
Earlier on Tuesday evening, senior BJP leader and former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi too claimed that Lalu Yadav is trying to poach the NDA MLAs ahead of the Speaker's election. Sushil claimed that Lalu was having access to mobile despite serving sentences in the multi-crore fodder scam. He also shared the number from which Lalu made calls.
"Lalu Yadav making telephone call from Ranchi to NDA MLAs and promising ministerial berths," the former deputy CM tweeted. "When I telephoned, Lalu directly picked up. I said don't do (sic) these dirty tricks from jail, you will not succeed," he added.
Lalu is currently serving sentences in a number of fodder scam cases. He was initially lodged at the Hotwar Central Jail. He was moved to the RIMS hospital in Ranchi on medical grounds. For the last few months, he has been putting up at the bungalow allotted to the Director of RIMS, which is seen as a favour extended to the ageing and ailing leader by the Hemant Soren government in which the RJD is a partner.
Meanwhile, JDU leader Sanjay Jha has demanded that Lalu should be shifted from the bungalow of the Director of RIMS. He said that the court should also take cognisance of the matter.
The NDA in Bihar comprises BJP, JD(U), HAM and VIP. The alliance retained the power in the just-concluded Assembly election by winning 125 seats, three more than the halfway mark of 122 in the 243-member Legislative Assembly. The RJD-led grand alliance secured 110 seats.