| Prem Kumar Mani |
Patna, Sept. 12: Bihar Legislative Council chairman Tarakant Jha today terminated the membership of rebel JD(U) MLC Prem Kumar Mani from the House for his “anti-party” activities.
Legislative Council administrative officer Madhu Kumar Sinha said Jha terminated Mani’s membership following a complaint by JD(U) chief whip Sanjay Singh. During a hearing held before the Legislative Council chairman last week, Mani admitted he had indeed spoken against the party and its policies but defended his action on the ground that it was his fundamental right to speak on any issue.
After the hearing, in which Singh too was present, Jha had reserved his order in the matter. Mani’s tenure in the council was scheduled to expire on May 6, 2012.
Based on the report of the chairman of the JD(U) disciplinary committee, Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, the party had sought disqualification of Mani. The JD(U) leadership has also sought action against two Lok Sabha members Lallan Singh and Mangani Lal Mandal, and Rajya Sabha member Upendra Kushwaha on the charge of anti-party activities during the 2010 Assembly elections.
Confirming Mani’s disqualification, Gyanu, said: “The disciplinary committee has strong evidence of anti-party activities against Mani and others. Mani’s disqualification vindicates the findings of the disciplinary committee against him.”
Gyanu’s report has sought disqualification of all the “erring” lawmakers of the party from their membership.
The action against Mani once again brought to the fore chief minister Nitish Kumar’s streak to finish his heavyweight rivals using relatively lightweight leaders.
Gyanu was a junior leader before he was picked up as the chairman of the party’s disciplinary committee after the 2010 elections to “interrogate” the senior party leaders.
Nitish had pitted Ramsunder Das, a retired socialist leader of 80s, against the LJP heavyweight Ram Vilas Paswan in Vaishali in 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Similarly, Nitish used Ranjan Yadav, once a Lalu Prasad’s “crony”, to defeat the RJD boss in the Pataliputra seat in the same election.