Bihar: Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance proves majority in Assembly
Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs walked out of the House during the trust vote.
The Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance won the floor test in Bihar Assembly on Wednesday, PTI reported. Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs walked out of the House during the trust vote.
On August 9, the Janata Dal (United) severed ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. A day later, JD(U) chief Kumar took oath as chief minister of Bihar for the eighth time with support from the Rashtriya Janata Dal and six other parties of the Grand Alliance.
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav was sworn in as his deputy.
The government had submitted a letter of support of 164 MLAs to the governor in the 243-seat Assembly. Though, the current effective strength of the Assembly is 241 and the alliance needs support of 121 MLAs to prove majority.
The new government convened a one-day special session on Wednesday to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
Earlier on Wednesday, Vijay Kumar Sinha stepped down as Speaker of the Assembly as soon as the special session in the Bihar Assembly commenced on Wednesday, NDTV reported.
On August 10, fifty-five MLAs of the newly-formed Grand Alliance government in Bihar had moved the motion against Sinha, who is a BJP legislator. The new coalition wanted to have him removed before the floor test.
Nomination papers for the election of the new Speaker will be held on Thursday, according to PTI. The House has been adjourned till Friday.
The new Speaker of the Bihar Assembly is likely to be from the Rashtriya Janata Dal, according to reports. On August 16, the Rashtriya Janata Dal also got the biggest chunk of seats after Kumar expanded his Cabinet.
Kumar lost political credibility: BJP
BJP leader Tarkishore Prasad, a former deputy of Kumar, accused the chief minister of having lost his political credibility, reported PTI.
In his speech ahead of the trust vote, Prasad said Kumar’s personal ambition of becoming the prime minister led him him to ditch the BJP in 2013 and then again nine years later.
“He remains the CM though his deputy keeps changing,” said the BJP leader. “He is like a batsman who causes others to get run out to remain on the pitch. RJD should remember that its president Lalu Prasad had compared him to a snake that sheds its skin.”
BJP sidelined Advani, Vajpayee: Kumar
On the criticism, Kumar replied that he had snapped ties with the BJP in 2013 because senior BJP leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani were sidelined by the saffron party. He said that Vajpayee and Advani had treated him with respect.
Relations between the BJP and the JD(U) had soured because of disagreements between them over a host of matters such as a proposed population control law, caste census, demand for special category status for Bihar and the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme.
Rejecting BJP’s claims, Kumar asserted that he had “no personal ambitions” to become the prime minister.
The chief minister also claimed that the current dispensation at the Centre does little except publicity. As the BJP MLAs protested, Kumar told them to speak against him. “Maybe this will earn you some rewards from your political bosses,” he added.
CBI raids RJD leaders
Meanwhile, ahead of the floor test, the Central Bureau of Investigation raided the homes of Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders Ahmad Ashfaque Karim, Faiyaz Ahmad, Subodh Roy and Sunil Singh in an alleged corruption case, ANI reported.
The case pertains to allegations that Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav and his family members took land from job aspirants in return for employment with the Railways. The land-grabbing had allegedly taken place when he was the railway minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.
“Useless to say that it’s raid by ED [Enforcement Directorate] or IT [Income Tax] or CBI, it’s a raid by BJP,” Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha told ANI. “They work under BJP now, their offices run with BJP script. Today is floor test and what’s happening here? It has become predictable.”