BJP adamant, seeks sacking of Bihar Congress minister

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Patna, March 3 (IANS) The opposition BJP disrupted the Bihar assembly’s proceedings for the third consecutive day on Friday, demanding dismissal of Congress minister Abdul Jalil Mastan after he asked in a video to beat Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph with shoes.

As soon as the house assembled, slogan-shouting Bharatiya Janata Party legislators created a ruckus and made it clear that the Grand Alliance government won’t be allowed to proceed with the ongoing budget session unless Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sacked the Excise and Prohibition Minister.

Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar said the BJP will not compromise on the issue and will continue to protest to expose Mastan and Nitish Kumar’s reluctance in sacking him.

Mastan is the only minister from the backward and under-developed Seemanchal belt, which comprises of Purnia, Kishanganj, Araria and Katihar districts with sizeable Muslim population.

However, the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) party on Friday demanded Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary take action against BJP legislator Lal Babu Gupta for abusing RJD legislator Faraz Fatmi and his father and former union minister Mohd Ali Ashraf Fatmi in the assembly on Thursday.

“Action should be taken against Lal Babu who abused and used unparliamentary language against Ashraf Fatmi,” RJD legislator Bhai Virender said.

According to the RJD, Mastan would not be sacked from Nitish Kumar’s council of ministers.

“First BJP take action against union minister Griraj Singh and others for publicly abusing RJD chief Lalu Prasad repeatedly,” they said.

Earlier, Bihar Congress President Ashok Choudhary, who is also the Education Minister, said the BJP’s demand for the sacking of Mastan was baseless.

After much hue and cry over his controversial statement, Mastan on Wednesday apologised to put an end to the row.

The Congress, Janata Dal-United and the RJD are all partners in Bihar’s ruling Grand Alliance.

Mastan’s video, aired on a Hindi news channel on February 22, also condemned the Centre’s November 8 demonetisation move. The video went viral on the social media.

In the video, Mastan was seen addressing a crowd in Purnea district’s Amour constituency, and saying that it was Modi who had promised to face punishment if he failed to end people’s woes within 50 days.

Mastan then suggested the crowd to beat Modi’s photograph with shoes.

–IANS

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