RJD’s Awadh Bihari Chaudhary unanimously elected Bihar Assembly Speaker

New Delhi: Veteran RJD leader Awadh Bihari Chaudhary was unanimously elected Speaker of the Bihar Legislative Assembly on Friday. The post fell vacant following the resignation of Vijay Kumar Sinha, against whom a no-confidence motion was moved by the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ after coming to power in the state earlier this month.

Chaudhary was taken to the chair by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and senior BJP leader Sinha, who has now become the Leader of the Opposition. The proceedings, however, were marked by an uproar by BJP members over their “omitting” from the list of businesses, a report by the Ethics Committee.

The report was on the conduct of several RJD MLAs, who were in opposition when Sinha was held hostage inside the Speaker’s chamber for several hours in March last year. To pressurize the demand for presentation of the report, the BJP members had entered the house with placards and shouting slogans and when Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari took over as the Speaker, they entered the House. However, as soon as Hazari ordered the election of the president to begin, the BJP members agreed and took their seats.

In his congratulatory speech, Sinha had raised the issue of the ethics committee report, while the Speaker asked him to focus on the agenda of the day. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav were among those who spoke in the House to congratulate Chowdhary, a multiple-time MLA from Siwan.

A special session of the House is going on in which two days ago the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) proved its majority. The seven-party alliance left the NDA over alleged attempts by the BJP to “break up” the regional party after Kumar came to power with the JD(U).

He joined the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, which is run by RJD and includes Congress, CPIML(L), CPI(M) and CPI.