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|March 17, 1999||
Samata Party in Bihar assembly splits
The Samata Party in Bihar today suffered a vertical split with half of the eight party legislators in the state assembly forming a separate group just hours before the House was to take up a vote of confidence in the Rabri Devi government.
The four dissidents -- led by legislature party leader Brishen Patel and his deputy Shivanand Tiwari -- formed a separate outfit called Samata-Patel.
The two politicians had yesterday announced their decision to resign from the Samata Party "within 48 hours" to protest against the "authoritarian" style of functioning of the party high command.
Earlier, efforts by senior party politician and Union Railway Minister Nitish Kumar to placate the dissidents proved futile.
The two politicians, who quit the party along with Lovely Anand and Parvati Devi, had earlier indicated that they would join the Rashtriya Janata Dal.
But there are differences within the group on the strategy to be adopted on the vote of confidence. Patel and Tiwari said they would vote for the motion, but the other two members are likely to oppose it.
Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party leader Ramasray Prasad Singh said the party would abstain during the vote of confidence.
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