Congress sets eyes on Speaker's post in Bihar

Congress sets eyes on Speaker's post in Bihar

Party wants to be umpire to neutralise Nitish and Lalu

Congress sets eyes on Speaker's post in Bihar

Ater playing peacemaker in getting together the JD(U) and RJD, the Congress is now eyeing the post of the Speaker in the Bihar Assembly.

Congress leaders apprehend that RJD chief Lalu Prasad could indulge in muscle-flexing after playing a key role in the victory of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and it may be in the best position to play umpire if required.

However, the situation has become a bit complicated as the RJD too has thrown its hat in the ring for the Speaker’s post. The RJD has emerged as the single largest party in the Bihar Assembly elections by winning 81 of the 101 seats it contested as member of the Grand Alliance. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) won 71 seats of the 101 seats it had contested while the Congress emerged victorious on 27 of the 41 seats in had put up candidates.

Congress leaders argue that the chief minister would like to have a trusted aide as the Speaker. The name of senior Congress leader and former Speaker Sadanand Singh is doing the rounds for the coveted post.

The Congress has anointed Rahul Gandhi as the architect of the Grand Alliance. They contend that it was Rahul who threw his weight behind Nitish Kumar as the leader of the Grand Alliance and thus made RJD chief Lalu Prasad fall in line.

It expects Kumar to reciprocate the gesture by making a Congress leader the Speaker.
Another Congress leader Ashok Ram is also being talked about as an alternative choice as Sadanand Singh belongs to the Kurmi caste, the same as that of the chief minister. Ashok Ram is a Dalit leader.

The Grand Alliance government is scheduled to assume office on November 20. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, C P Joshi and Shakeel Ahmed are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony at Gandhi Maidan in Patna. The newly-elected Congress MLAs are scheduled to meet Rahul and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on November 19.