Veteran RJD leader Awadh Bihari Chaudhary was on Friday unanimously elected as Speaker of the Bihar Legislative Assembly.
The post had fallen vacant upon resignation of Vijay Kumar Sinha, against whom a no confidence motion was moved by the Mahagathbandhan’, after it came to power in the state earlier this month.
Chaudhary was escorted to the Chair by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Sinha, a senior BJP leader, who has now become the Leader of the Opposition.
The proceedings were, however, marked by BJP members creating a ruckus over dropping from the list of businesses a report of the Ethics Committee.
The report was on the conduct of several MLAs of the RJD, which was then in the opposition, in March last year when Sinha was held hostage inside the Speaker’s chamber for several hours.
The BJP members had entered the House carrying placards and raising slogans to press for the demand for tabling of the report, and entered the well when Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari took the Chair.
However, as Hazari ordered commencement of the Speaker’s election, the BJP members relented and took their seats.
The issue of the Ethics Committee report was raised by Sinha, in his congratulatory speech, while the Speaker asked him to keep it focused on the agenda of the day.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav were among those who spoke on the floor of the House to congratulate Chaudhary, a several-term MLA from Siwan.
A special session of the House is underway in which the Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) had proven its majority on the floor two days ago.
The seven-party coalition assumed power after Kumar, with his JD(U), quit the NDA over alleged attempts by BJP to break the regional party.
He joined the Mahagathbandhan’, which is helmed by the RJD and includes Congress, CPIML(L), CPI(M) and CPI.