The MLAs who quit in a dramatic development pledged support to the Nitish Kumar government. A letter reached the state Assembly bearing the signature of the 13 MLAs stating that they were leaving the RJD. (Agencies)
"In accordance with their request as per an interim arrangement they have been given permission to sit as a separate group," an Assembly notification said.
Shortly afterwards, accompanied by RJD Legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui, the six MLAs told reporters that they did not consciously sign any letter for walking out of RJD and forming a separate group.
Abdul Gafoor claimed that the signature of MLAs were taken for different purposes like raising a matter for call attention motion during the Assembly session.
"I did not sign any letter consciously to leave RJD... a fraud has been committed with me," Gafoor said.
Besides Gafoor, the other MLAs who came to RJD office to deny a split were Lalit Yadav, Faiyyaz Ahmad, Durga Prasad Singh, Chandrasekhar and Akhtar-ul Islam Sahin.
Siddiqui told reporters that a meeting of the RJD Legislature party has been called tomorrow at the residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi at 12 noon where some more MLAs would make their position clear.
Lalu Prasad, who is RJD President, downplayed reports of a split in his party, saying he was inquiring into the matter.
"I have heard about it. I am finding out what is happening," he told reporters in Delhi when asked for his reaction to the split in the party.
Siddiqui alleged that a fraud had been committed on his party at the behest of the chief minister.
He also pointed fingers at Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary for acting promptly on the letter without verifying whether the signatures were authentic.
"A healthy parliamentary practice demands that the Speaker should have called all the 13 MLAs and asked them about their signatures. But, he did not do this and got a notification issued to recognise them as a separate group."
Siddiqui and the six MLAs accused legislator Samrat Chaudhary, a former minister and son of senior party leader Shakuni Chaudhary, of fraudulently including their names in the list of 13.
"Chaudhary has been lured by the CM with a ministerial berth to indulge in the fraud," he alleged. Lalit Yadav also denied giving his signature for the purpose of leaving the party.
"If we have to leave the party we will do it in broad daylight," the MLA from Manigachi in Darbhanga district said.
The MLAs who quit in a dramatic development pledged support to the Nitish Kumar government.
A letter reached the state Assembly bearing the signature of the 13 MLAs stating that they were leaving the RJD.