In a counter-offensive, Sharad loyalists have decided to convene a legislature party meeting after the June 18 party presidential election to decide whether Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav should continue as the leader of the house and party.
This was announced here yesterday by Pashupati Kumar Paras, state jail minister, who tendered his resignation on Saturday to express solidarity with the four ministers expelled from the party by Laloo Prasad for attending a press conference hosted by his rival, Sharad Yadav.
The decision of Paras, whose resignation is yet to be accepted, is backed by the dismissed ministers and a wide swathe of MLAs who attended Sharad Yadav's press conference.
If Laloo does not convene the meet, we will hold the meeting and take a decision about his future, said Paras.
The dissidents declared that they would take out a `swabhiman yatra (self respect journey)' to educate the masses about the misdeeds of Laloo and bring back the genuine workers to the party fold. They emphasised that they will set out on a `yatra' and not `rath' which they regarded as synonymous with Laloo Prasad's feudal tactics.
Ram Vilas Paswan, who is to fly down to the state capital today, will lead them in their fight against Laloo, they said. Paswan is expected to address reporters at the residence of his brother, Paras.
Paras yesterday attacked the Chief Minister for his autocratic style of functioning and for saying that he would not allow any one to reap the harvest as Bihar belonged to him.
Janata Dal is the product of the Mandal Commission and the land of Bihar, in fact, belonged to V P Singh, Ram Vilas Paswan and Sharad Yadav.
These national leaders handed over the Mandal land to Laloo Prasad Yadav on the condition of share cropping. But the share cropper is trying to usurp the land which will not be tolerated by party workers.
The four sacked ministers dismissed the Chief Minister's claim that they were dismissed on the ground of misusing the official machinery and misappropriating funds. The action was desperate and to cover up his own weaknesses, he said.
Mangani Lal Mandal, one of the expelled ministers, said that Bihar was being ruled by Laloo and his brother-in-law, Sadhu Yadav, and the top priority was to free the state from their tyranny.
Taking note of Laloo Prasad's allegations, former agriculture minister Ramjeevan Singh, demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or by sitting judge of the Patna High Court to ascertain if he had ever used his position to further his interests.
If proven guilty he would take sanyas from politics.