"After divorce with the BJP, Nitish Kumar has gone mad and he is luring MLAs of rival parties with ministerial berths to save his minority government," Prasad said after a legislature party meeting at the residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi.

"The whole world saw his conspiracy which went awry," Prasad added.

Nine rebel RJD MLAs to meet Speaker to withdraw notification


He also asserted that nine of the 13 legislators who reportedly broke away have denied parting ways. Prasad marched to the Assembly premises along with those nine MLAs and handed over a letter to Assembly Secretary Phool Jha, demanding that Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary withdraw the Assembly notification recognizing the breakaway faction as a separate group.

He lashed out at the Speaker for "acting in haste" to recognize the 13 as a separate group. "He was a jail minister in my government. He has got the post of Speaker under the influence of the Chief Minister," Prasad said.
    
On their way, a few supporters, displaying banners and placards, accompanying the RJD supremo turned violent and hurled stones at the official residence of the Speaker.
    
Three more RJD MLAs, who were reportedly part of the rebel group that broke away on Monday, attended the legislature party meeting. With this, the total number of MLAs who remained with RJD went up to nine.

READ MORE: Nitish trashes Lalu's allegations, says RJD MLAs are welcome to join JD(U)
    
The Speaker rubbished the allegation levelled by Prasad and said the decision was lawful. "I do not know who is saying what on television channels ... but the Assembly secretariat has taken a right decision," Chaudhary said.
    
High drama unfolded in the RJD on Monday with claims that 13 of the 22 party MLAs have quit the party but six of them later claimed they are not part of the breakaway faction.

On Monday, all the 13 RJD MLAs were given permission to sit as a separate group in the Assembly after claims were made that they quit the party. Prasad said he will address a press conference to apprise the media of the latest developments.

RJD has 22 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar Assembly.

In Delhi, Kumar said that JD (U) would welcome rebel RJD MLAs into its fold and rejected allegations that the Assembly Speaker worked at his behest by hurriedly giving recognition to the breakaway faction.

There are differences in the RJD and the party is "on the verge of a split", said Kumar who attended a meeting of non-Congress, non-BJP front.

RJD to issue show cause notice to four MLAs absent from meeting
    
RJD has decided to issue show cause notices to the four MLAs who failed to turn up at the legislature party meeting.
    
"We will show cause the errant MLAs - Samrat Chaudhary, Raghvendra Pratap Singh, Akhtarul Iman and Javed Iqbal Ansari - asking them to explain reasons behind their absence from our legislature party meeting," RJD legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddique told reporters here.
    
The party will consider taking further actions against them if they failed to reply to the show cause notices, he said.
    
Earlier, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad along with 14 MLAs, including the nine who had signed the letter of their decision to split from the parent party on Tuesday, walked up to the state legislature premises and found the gates shut.
    
However, they were soon allowed inside and they went up to the Speaker's chamber to submit a letter on behalf of the nine MLAs pledging their loyalty to the party.
    
Not finding the Speaker in his chamber, Lalu led the MLAs to the chamber of Assembly secretary Phool Jha where the letters of allegiance on behalf of each of the nine formerly rebel MLAs were submitted to the official.

Rebel RJD leader denies fraud with MLA signatures

    
Senior RJD leader Samrat Chaudhary, who handed over the letter with the signatures of MLAs, rubbished allegations of fraud and claimed those who returned to the party did so under pressure.
    
"I had submitted the letter bearing the signature of 13 MLAs to Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary on February 14," Samrat Chaudhary, who is Chief Whip of the RJD in the Assembly, said.
    
"All the signatures are genuine," Chaudhary, RJD MLA from Parbatta in Khagaria district, said.
    
"I and other leaders once again appeal to colleagues to discharge their constitutional duty as legislators and quit the RJD," he said.
    
Chaudhary, at whose residence the dissident MLAs met on Monday to make their decision public, claimed that many of them returned under "pressure". He and three other MLAs Raghvendra Pratap Singh, Javed Iqbal Ansari and Akhtarul Islam who were among the 13 signatories did not attend the legislature party meeting at which party chief Lalu Prasad was present during the day.
    
His father Shakuni Chaudhary, who is a senior leader of RJD and seen by at side Lalu Prasad at party functions, was also absent from the meeting.
    
As per reports, the junior Chaudhary was keen to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Khagaria which was a Congress seat under a seat-sharing alliance.
    
Raghvendra Pratap Singh and Akhtarul Islam also wanted to contest the Parliamentary polls from Ara and Kisanganj respectively which as per reports were going to the Congress.

JPN/Agencies

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