In a set back to JD-U leader Nitish Kumar, the Patna High Court Wednesday stayed his election as the new leader of the legislature party, a government lawyer said. Hearing a petition filed by Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s loyalist, legislator Rajeshwar Raj, a bench of the court stayed Nitish Kumar’s election as the new leader of the JD-U legislature party. The court has fixed Feb 17 as next date of hearing.
Raj last Monday filed a PIL in the court challenging the legality of party president Sharad Yadav’s action in summoning the legislature party meeting Saturday which elected Nitish Kumar as its new leader. “The high court has stayed recognition of Nitish Kumar as the new leader of the JD-U legislature party,” Raj’s lawyer S.B.K. Manalam said. Earlier this week, a letter issued by Hareram Mukhiya, secretary in-charge of the assembly, said assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary recognised Kumar as the new leader of the JD-U legislature party.
A letter to this effect was also sent to Raj Bhawan. Manjhi has already termed Yadav’s decision to call the meeting as illegal and questioned the re-election of the former chief minister as its new leader. Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United Monday expelled Manjhi from the party for six years, chief whip Shrawan Kumar said. (IANS)