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Will Nitish Kumar quit INDIA bloc? Bihar assembly equation comes into focus

As uncertainty looms over the future of the coalition government in Bihar with speculations about Nitish Kumar rejoining the BJP-led NDA, the focus has once again shifted to the numbers in the Bihar assembly. The rumors over Nitish getting back with the NDA began on Thursday after RJD supremo Lalu Yadav’s daughter Rohini Acharya talked about “changing ideology as the winds change its direction” in an X post. The speculations intensified as both JD(U) and RJD held separate meetings to discuss the developments with the party’s top leadership.

The numbers in the Bihar assembly

There are a total of 243 members in the Bihar assembly with RJD having the largest number of MLAs in the state, followed by BJP and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U). The total number of MLAs in each party in Bihar are:

  • RJD – 79
  • BJP – 78
  • JD(U) – 45
  • Congress – 19
  • Left – 16
  • HAM – 4
  • AIMIM – 1
  • Independent – 1

Also read | Lok Sabha Elections In Delhi On April 16? ‘Tentative’, Says Delhi Election Officer

Presently, the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government in Bihar consists of RJD, JD(U), Congress, and three Left parties – which has a total of 159 MLAs. However, if JD(U) drops out of the alliance, they will be left with 114 MLAs, leading to the collapse of the coalition government.

Notably, if a party or a coalition wants to form a government in the 243-member Bihar assembly, then they must have the support of at least 122 MLAs.

Now, if Kumar’s JD(U) joins hands with the BJP again, they will have 123 MLAs, along with four other MLAs belonging to Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM party which is a part of the NDA alliance – enough for them to form the government.

Nitish Kumar has been known for switching sides to keep his chief ministerial position over the years. In 2020, Nitish contested the assembly elections in an alliance with the BJP. While JD(U) received less received votes than BJP, Kumar still became the chief minister owing to the pre-poll agreement between the two parties. However, in 2022, the Bihar CM left the NDA alliance and joined the Mahagathbandhan to form the government.

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