Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav attacked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his administration on Wednesday, a day after the state Assembly witnessed chaos and Opposition leaders were left injured in a scuffle with security forces.
Yadav tweeted a video shot inside the Assembly where Rapid Action Force personnel can be seen cordoning off Opposition MLAs, as they shout slogans. Towards the end of the video, the Speaker can be heard passing a Bill as MLAs walk off.
Ruckus ensued in the Bihar Assembly on Tuesday after the Opposition moved a motion against the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021. Leaders from the Opposition claimed that the draft law has provisions that will give power to the Special Armed Police, earlier called the Bihar Military Police, to search and arrest without warrants.
“Draconian act which will give absolute powers to police, so that it can act as veritable arm of Nitish’s dictatorial politics, has been passed in police protection by throwing out battered MLAs using police itself,” Yadav tweeted. “See how police is blocking our MLAs inside the house. Shameless!”
“The government is adopting a dictatorial approach and this is a black legislation,” Yadav said in his speech in the Assembly on Tuesday.
In a tweet of the clipping of his speech, the Speaker can be seen asking a minister to present the Bill, by interrupting Yadav. The clip was interspersed with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s statement, where he says he wanted discussion on the Bill.
“They did not give answers to any of my questions in this session [of Assembly],” Yadav tweeted. “Today, they forcefully introduced the Bill while I was speaking on the black legislation and then shamelessly [he] said that we did not take part in discussion.”
Yadav also posted multiple videos and photos of his party MLAs who were injured, and alleged that they were heckled by security forces and “goons in plain clothes”.
‘Will not be intimidated,’ says Rahul Gandhi
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also criticised Kumar, suggesting that the incident was a result of the chief minister being under the influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party and and its ideological parent organisation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
“It is clear from the shameful incident of Bihar Vidhan Sabha that the chief minister has been consumed by BJP and RSS,” Gandhi tweeted. “Those who rob democracy of its dignity, do not deserve to be called a government. The Opposition will keep raising its voice in the interest of people – we will not be intimidated!”
Speaking to reporters, Leader of Oppposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge raised apprehensions that the Bihar government will misuse the new law, ANI reported.
“They [Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal United] talk about democracy but [they] passed the bill,” Kharge said. “We know they will misuse it. Today ED [Enforcement Directorate], CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation], IT [Income Tax department] are being misused at the Centre...The same misuse will happen in Bihar and create problems in future.”
The party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala urged people to raise their voice against the incident and said that the Bill will give powers to the police to put anyone behind bars, the Hindustan Times reported.
“Democracy had been murdered in Bihar and if the people of the country will not raise their voice now, there will be no democracy left in the country,” he told reporters.