|Assembly acting secretary Laxmikant Jha. Telegraph picture
Patna, Aug. 3: Acting secretary of the Assembly Laxmikant Jha today informed legislators about the postponement of the election for the post of deputy speaker through letters, triggering speculation that the difference between the BJP and the JD(U) prompted the move.
Sources said the hitch between the allies was not over following the 35-year-old tradition of giving the post of the deputy speaker to the main opposition party. They were divided over the post of chairperson of the Bihar Legislative Council, the election for which is expected on August 8 — the final day of the Monsoon session.
Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary did not make any announcement today in the House on the postponement of the election, a day after he announced the poll would be conducted on August 6.
“There is no need for the Speaker to make an announcement. It can be done through a letter issued to MLAs,” said Jha, adding that the Speaker was entitled to announce fresh date of the contest.
The RJD, which had decided to field its MLA Ramanand Yadav for the post as a mark of protest against the decision of the treasury bench to keep the post in the ruling alliance, were mystified. “There is still no communication between us and the government on the post of the deputy speaker,” said the RJD chief whip, Samarath Choudhary. He stressed that the government should follow the tradition of giving the post to the main opposition.
A JD(U) minister said: “There appears to be a miscommunication in making the announcement of date for the election.” He wondered if a fresh date would be announced this year, but some BJP leaders stressed that MLA Amarendra Pratap Singh would be elected the deputy speaker in the current session.
“The Speaker is likely to announce fresh date on August 6. The election will be held on August 8, 2012,” said a senior BJP minister.
The BJP wants Amarendra to be the deputy speaker of the Assembly and former minister Awadhesh Naryan Singh the new chairman of the Council. But the JD(U) was willing to give the BJP the post of the deputy speaker in the Assembly in lieu of the chairman of the Council.