The renewed Nitish Kumar-BJP alliance government in Bihar will take a test of strength today, a hurdle it is expected to cross easily. The trust vote will kick off the budget session of the state assembly.
Bihar Speaker Awadh Bihari Choudhary, from Lalu Yadav’s party, has been removed ahead of Nitish Kumar’s trust vote.
Key points of Bihar Assembly Session
The BJP-JD(U) combine has 128 members in the 243-member Bihar assembly, where the majority mark stands at 122. The BJP has 78 seats, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United 45, and Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awam Morcha four seats. The remaining seat is held by an Independent MLA. The Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal and ally Congress hold 114 seats.
Bihar assembly Speaker Awadh Bihari Choudhary, an RJD leader, meanwhile, is facing a no-confidence motion as several leaders from the BJP-led NDA sought his removal.
The no-confidence motion against the Speaker was taken up immediately after the Governor’s address to members on the inaugural day of the budget session.
RJD MP Manoj Jha said the JD(U) and BJP need the votes of half the total members to remove the Speaker. But this is another hurdle the NDA is expected to cross easily, given its numbers.
There is speculation that Mr Choudhary, who has so far refused to step down, might do so today to avoid the embarrassment of being voted out.
The trust vote was preceded by rumours of several MLAs of the Rashtriya Janata Dal going missing.
Senior police officers visited the Patna residence of Tejashwi Yadav late on Sunday evening reportedly on a complaint that RJD MLA Chetan Anand was “missing”. A video of Chetan Anand playing cricket at Tejashwi’s residence had surfaced.
Nitish Kumar took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for a record ninth time on January 28, saying the state of affairs was “not right” in the Grand Alliance. Sources indicated he was upset over the lack of clarity in the INDIA bloc’s poll preparations and being passed over as a possible Prime Ministerial candidate.
The Chief Minister had ditched the Grand Alliance and the Opposition bloc INDIA and formed a new government with the BJP, which he had dumped less than 18 months ago.
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