Nitish Kumar wins trust vote, Oppn walks out

BJP-JD(U) alliance has 128 seats in the 243-member Assembly.

New Delhi: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar won the trust vote on Monday as the opposition – Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and Left Front – walked out of the Assembly.

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This comes days after Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) severed ties with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and formed a new government with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Assembly session started on Monday morning, with BJP-JD (U) alliance and Lalu Yadav-led RJD engaging in show of strength outside and inside the House. Tejashwi Yadav’s supporters resorted to slogan-shouting as he entered the Assembly while the House reverberated with the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans. Opposition camp also chanted, ‘Mitti mein mil jaayenge, BJP mein nahin jaayenge’.

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The Speaker of the House Awadh Bihari Choudhary was removed from the post after no-confidence motion against him was cleared by a majority vote. About 125 members of the House voted against the incumbent Speaker. Awadh Bihari Choudhary belongs to Lala Yadav’s RJD.

RJD leader Tejashwi leader spoke at length in the House and trained guns at Bihar CM for his ‘paltis’ (switchovers) and the saffron party for ‘banking on him for the chair.’

Talking of numbers game, the BJP-JD(U) alliance has 128 seats in the 243-member Assembly. The magical mark to win the Trust vote is 122.

RJD is the largest party with 79 MLAs, BJP with 78 and JD (U) being the smallest with 45 legislators. Four seats belong to Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awam Morcha (Secular).

Notably, Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for record ninth time after breaking away from Mahagathbandhan and returning to the NDA fold, with a pledge that ‘this tie-up will stay forever’.

The political realignment in Bihar, ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, assumes enough significance as this is expected to have strong bearing on the poll outcome.

In 2019 LS elections, when BJP & JD (U) fought together, the saffron party won 17 LS seats, JD (U) bagged 16 and LJP pocketed 6 seats. With the NDA alliance again regaining its ‘old form’, it is expected to make a clean sweep and give the RJD a big drubbing.

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