Former Bihar Chief Minister and senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Rabri Devi was today accorded the status of the leader of opposition in the state legislative council on the basis of her party's enhanced strength in the upper house.
The development followed the recent biennial elections to the legislative council after which RJD's tally in the 75-member upper house rose from seven to nine, required to get the status.
"We received an application on behalf of Rabri Devi yesterday, brought by (state RJD president) Ramchandra Purve, seeking her recognition as the leader of the opposition in the house," legislative council Deputy Chairman Haroon Rashid told reporters.
"Today, we decided to accord recognition since a vibrant opposition is essential to the functioning of any democracy. Moreover, the RJD has the requisite numbers now," he said.
Last year, after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar walked out of the Grand Alliance comprising his JD(U), the RJD and the Congress, a similar application by Rabri Devi was turned down as the members of the party founded and headed by her husband Lalu Prasad constituted less than 10 per cent of the total strength of the house.
Welcoming the development on a day Rabri Devi's son Tej Pratap Yadav is getting married to the daughter of party MLA Chandrika Rai, RJD spokesperson Ejya Yadav said, "we are delighted at the recognition of Madam as the leader of opposition. The wedding has proved lucky for the entire party."
Lalu Prasad's younger son Tejashwi Yadav is the leader of opposition in the state legislative assembly.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi were among the 11 people elected to the legislative council last month, along with Rabri Devi. -- PTI