As expected Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar won the decisiove floor test with support of BJP. While 131 MLAs voted in favour of the JD(U)-BJP combine, 108 MLAs voted against the confidence motion of the chief minister.
Nitish Kumar of JDU, who ditched his former allies RJD and Congress to tie a new alliance with the BJP and sworn in as Chief Minister of Bihar on Thursday, will face the floor test on Friday 11 am to prove his majority in the house.
“The assembly secretariat has informed the house members to participate in the one-day special session which will begin at 11 am tomorrow. The members have been informed by telephone, SMS and letters,” Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary.
“There is only one agenda for the special sitting - that is the trust vote of the new government,” he said.
In the 243-member assembly, Nitish Kumar needs the support of 122 members for a majority. The Chief Minister's party has 71 legislators, the BJP 53. BJP allies have 5 seats -- Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP has 2 seats, RLSP has 2 seats and HAM has 1. There are 4 Independents and 4 CPI-ML lawmakers. Between them, the RJD and Congress have 107 seats.
A communique from the Bihar assembly secretariat said Speaker Chaudhary would address the assembly at the beginning of the special session and Kumar would then move the confidence motion.
Kumar was sworn in as the chief minister along with BJP's Sushil Kumar Modi as his deputy this morning by Governor K N Tripathi, who gave two days to the new government to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
Meanwhile, the RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said he will appeal in the Supreme Court against the governor’s decision to invite Nitish Kumar to form the government with support from the BJP, despite the fact that RJD remains the single largest party.
“We're considering to appeal in Supreme court against governor's decision. We are taking legal advice and will move court after that,” Lalu told the media after Nitish Kumar took oath as chief minister.
“Nitish Kumar is an opportunist. He has not only betrayed the mandate of the people of Bihar, which was against communal forces, but also the people of India,” Lalu Prasad added.
Cracks have seemingly emerged within the JD(U) with several top leaders coming out against Nitish’s move. Former party president Sharad Yadav skipped the swearing-in and stayed back in Delhi. Yadav, who according to aides is annoyed at the move, met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. JDU MPs Ali Anwar and Veerendra Kumar have also spoken publicly against Nitish Kumar.
The unhappy leaders met at Sharad Yadav's residence in Delhi and said the veteran was upset with Nitish Kumar. The meeting was also attended by JD-U General Secretary Arun Srivastava and spokesperson Javed Raza.
Lalu Yadav, whose son Tejashwi Yadav faces corruption charges and which triggered the collapse of the Grand Alliance, also accused Nitish Kumar of “cheating” the people of Bihar. He said Nitish Kumar “conspired” with the BJP to get graft cases filed against his family. “I made him the Chief Minister despite my party being the single largest party in the state,” he said.
The RJD leader said his party was consulting legal experts and may approach the Supreme Court as the verdict in the S.R. Bommai case was not followed while inviting Nitish Kumar to form the government in Bihar.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi also slammed Nitish Kumar for shaking hands with the BJP for “personal gains”.
“The mandate was against the communal stand of the BJP but Nitish has chosen to embrace them. We were aware of what was going on for three-four months. This is the problem with Indian politics. For the sake of power and personal gains, they compromise with anything,” Gandhi added.
BSP chief Mayawati accused Nitish Kumar of betraying the people of Bihar. “Democracy will be weakened. This is another example of hunger for power,” She said.
After Nitish sworn in, Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case against Lalu Prasad and his family members in a railway hotels allotment corruption case dating back to the UPA tenure.
According to reports, the JD(U) is also expected to get a ministerial position in the Narendra Modi government at the Centre during a reshuffle planned after Parliament’s monsoon session.