The politics of Bihar has taken an unexpected turn with the Patna High Court staying the implementation of the letter issued by the Speaker of the House. The justices apparently wish to take a closer look at the modus operandi through which Nitish was claimed to have been declared the leader of the JD (U) legislature party.

The most valid reason for not recognizing Nitish as the leader of the JD (U) legislature party would be on the ground of the procedure: The national president, Sharad Yadav, was not authorized to convene the state legislature party meeting, that too without consulting the current leader (Jitan Manjhi). It was for the current leader of the JD (U) legislature party to do so.

A member of the Legislative Council (which Nitish is) could also be the leader of the joint legislature party. On this ground, the candidacy of Nitish couldn't be challenged.

On the same principle, Manmohan Singh, being a member of the Rajya Sabha, was the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party that included members of both the Lok and the Rajya Sabha.

Bihar regional leaders like Nitish, Lalu, Sharad or KC Tyagi and their lackeys like Vashisht Narayan Singh, Abdul Bari Siddiqui and others have scarce regard for parliamentary protocol and practices. Inspired by the Congress, they could throw all party procedures to the winds to serve their own ends. The history of their in-House fights is replete with such examples.

During the May-June 2014 election in Bihar, the closest colleagues of Nitish complained that the JD (U) was the only party which had no parliamentary board. Nitish could take in or turn out party candidates/workers at will.

Nitish embraced a few of them who were turncoats from the RJD or the BJP. Some of them eventually betrayed him. In a word, these leaders are not loyal or truthful to their own parties, only to their own narrow self-interests. The grass-roots party workers/sympathizers in whose (caste) names these leaders promote their politics must take note of this unfortunate trend.

It would, thus, be a very worthwhile question for the judiciary, in the larger interest of the people and democracy, to examine whether the political parties adhere to parliamentary principles and procedures. Their funding must be transparent and subject to auditing. Any tampering with the rules of the game must lead to censure and eventual de-recognition of such parties by the Election Commission.

Dr. Binoy S. Prasad administers a Facebook page