The revamped Nitish Kumar-BJP alliance government in Bihar will face a test of strength today, a hurdle it is expected to overcome easily. The confidence vote will begin the budget session of the state assembly.
Here are the top 10 points of this great story:
The BJP-JD(U) combine has 128 members in the 243-member Bihar assembly, where the majority is 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 its ally the Congress have 114 seats.
Meanwhile, Bihar assembly speaker Awadh Bihari Choudhary, leader of the RJD, is facing a no-confidence motion as several leaders of the BJP-led NDA sought his removal.
The no-confidence motion against the Speaker will be taken up immediately after the Governor’s address to members on the opening day of the budget session.
RJD MP Manoj Jha said the JD(U) and the BJP need the votes of half of the total members to remove the president. But this is another hurdle that the NDA is expected to easily overcome, given its numbers.
There is speculation that Choudhary, who has so far refused to resign, might do so today to avoid the embarrassment of being expelled.
The confidence vote was preceded by rumors of the disappearance of several Rashtriya Janata Dal MLAs.
Senior police officers visited Tejashwi Yadav’s residence in Patna late on Sunday afternoon, reportedly following 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 Bihar Chief Minister for a record ninth time on January 28, saying the situation was “not right” in the Grand Alliance. Sources indicated that he was upset over the lack of clarity in the INDIA bloc’s election preparations and at being ignored as a possible Prime Ministerial candidate.
The Chief Minister had abandoned the Grand Alliance and the INDIA opposition bloc and formed a new government with the BJP, which he had ditched less than 18 months earlier.
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