Nitish Kumar today lost his temper in the Bihar assembly and accused the Speaker of “openly violating” the constitution by raising questions against his government. The Bihar Chief Minister was livid apparently over the Speaker, and his ally BJP, raising questions about an incident involving alleged misbehaviour of policemen with Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha.
“You are openly violating the constitution,” a furious Nitish Kumar said to the Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha in an acrid back-and-forth in the assembly. The outburst signals further deterioration of ties between Nitish Kumar and the BJP.
The incident that triggered the chaos took place at Lakhisarai, the Speaker’s constituency, last month. It involves the arrest of some BJP supporters for allegedly violating Covid restrictions during Saraswati Puja celebrations.
When the Speaker tried to intervene, policemen allegedly misbehaved with him. In the assembly, Mr Sinha had been asking the government to act against the policemen. BJP leaders have also been pressing for action against the policemen.
Nitish Kumar reacted angrily to members, including those of the BJP, saying in the house that the policemen were being shielded by his government.
“Neither do we frame anybody, nor do we protect anybody. That is not what we do. Why are you saying this again and again? You are going on and on about this and running the house like this. This has never happened before,” Mr Kumar said.
“I want to tell our members also. The way you are raising this question again and again. When we have replied and said an inquiry is happening, then should you be concerned about the inquiry or should the court?” the Chief Minister lashed out.
When the Speaker tried to interject, Mr Kumar snapped: “I was listening. I feel hurt. This is unacceptable. You listen to me. I will not accept this.”
All through the rant, the Speaker tried to cut in but failed as a raging Mr Kumar refused to listen.
Ties between Mr Kumar and the BJP have been souring for months.
Mr Kumar returned to power in Bihar in 2020 but with a vastly diminished share in the ruling alliance, having won far fewer seats than the BJP for the first time.