File image of RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav. (PTI)
Patna: RJD leaders in Bihar have expressed disappointment over not being invited to the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to discuss the prevailing India-China tensions at the LAC.
Tejashwi Yadav, leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly, on Friday said the RJD has been ignored despite being the largest party in the state Assembly with 80 seats and five MPs in Rajya Sabha.
"RJD is the largest party in Bihar and it has five MPs in the parliament but we have not been invited to an all-party meeting on India China face-off. We want Mr. Rajnath Singh to clarify as to why RJD hasn’t been invited", RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said in a tweet on Friday.
In his tweet on Thursday evening, he had sought clarification from the PMO and Defence Ministry on the issue. "Just wish to know the criteria for inviting political parties for all-party meet on Galawan valley. I mean for the inclusion/ exclusion because our party hasn’t received any message so far".
Invitation to political parties to attend the all-party meeting was sent on Thursday. The RJD in Bihar was excluded because the party didn’t fulfil the criteria, sources said.
Sources said that the government has set a criteria to invite political parties -- Five or more MPs in the parliament. The RJD has five MPs in Rajya Sabha but none in the Lok Sabha.
"Being the leader of opposition in Bihar Assembly he (Tejashwi Yadav) should know the norms. In my view, he is just doing politics by raising such issues. The matter is sensitive and nobody should do politics", a BJP insider said.
RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha argued on Twitter that "the untenable logic of five members has got exposed". He cited the examples of several political parties which were invited to the meeting despite having fewer MPs than the RJD. "There is more to it than what meets the eye," Manoj Jha said.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Jha wrote, "The RJD is the principal opposition party in Bihar, which has a strategic location with neighbouring countries in the South Asian region because of the open border with Nepal. We are not just the opposition but also the largest party in the legislative assembly of Bihar".
He further wrote in his letter, "RJD has five MPs in the Rajya Sabha, which makes us qualify this strange and arbitrary criterion of minimum of five members to be able to join a meeting called for consultation on the great concern of national security. The blatant nature of exclusion will be a matter of record as several parties with lesser number of members have been called to participate in the meeting".