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NDA takes Bihar MLAs to Kalam

Gargi Parsai

Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

SHOW OF STRENGTH: NDA leaders and former MLAs from Bihar marching to Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet President A.P.J Abdul Kalam, in New Delhi on Friday. They were protesting against the Presidential proclamation to dissolve the Bihar Assembly.

NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani on Friday joined National Democratic Alliance MLAs from Bihar in their march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to lodge a protest with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam against the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly.

The NDA claimed the support of 132 MLAs, including 55 from the Janata Dal (United), 37 from the BJP, 17 from the Lok Jan Shakti Party, four from the Samajawadi Party, one from the Bahujan Samaj Party, and 11 independents.

Five MLAs, four from the LJP and one from the BSP, are said to have sent in their letters of support from jail. Two independent MLAs could not make it because of ill-health, taking the tally to 132 MLAs in a House of 243 members.

A 15-member representative delegation met the President. The Independent MLAs were led by Jagdish Sharma from Jehanabad.

Addressing the media after the 30-minute meeting, Mr. Jaitley said they informed the President that it was a "colossal fraud on the Constitution" and that the Government misinformed him while recommending the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly.

He said the delegation submitted a memorandum to the President stating that the Governor made no effort to ensure that a popular government was installed in the State.

When 22 LJP MLAs declared support and said they would merge with the JD(U), the Governor recommended the dissolution of the Assembly.

"There was no evidence of horse-trading and a merger is not horse-trading. Two-thirds members of LJP were merging and that was not unconstitutional," Mr. Jaitley said.

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