Bihar floor test: Ahead of the floor test on Monday (February 12), where chief minister Nitish Kumar will have to prove his majority after he ditched the Mahagathbandhan, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi said that all MLAs (BJP, JD-U, HAM) will be present tomorrow and PM Modi has done a good job by bringing CM Nitish Kumar into his team.
“Everybody is intact in NDA. We have 128 members and this figure may increase because today everybody holds PM Modi’s leadership in high regard. He has done a very good job by bringing Nitish Kumar with him. Our experiment will be successful on 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. All MLAs (BJP, JD-U, HAM) will be present tomorrow,” he added.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Haribhushan Thakur also expressed confidence in winning the upcoming Bihar Floor Test. Speaking to media, Thakur said, “We will win the floor test with a large margin. Nitish Kumar will remain our CM with two Deputy CMs and this govt will complete its term.”
At present, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP has 128 seats in the Bihar assembly, of which the BJP has 78 seats, the JD (U) 45 and the Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) four. The remaining lone seat is held by an Independent MLA. The Opposition holds 114 seats in the Bihar House and needs 122 for a majority.
Bihar Congress MLAs return from Hyderabad
The Congress MLAs from Bihar returned to Patna on Sunday after a week-long stay in Hyderabad. A day before the floor test of the new NDA government in Bihar, the MLAs of Opposition Congress returned from Hyderabad.
The legislators boarded a flight from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad after they were escorted amid tight security from a resort. The Congress had shifted its MLAs to Hyderabad to avoid possible poaching attempts by BJP and Janata Dal (United) in the run-up to the trust vote.
Sixteen MLAs had landed in Hyderabad on February 4 and were accommodated at a resort near the city. Party sources said remaining three MLAs later joined them. Tight security arrangements were made for their stay at Siri Nature’s Valley Resort at Kagazghat in Rangareddy district, about 40 km from the city.
The Congress, which is in power in Telangana, had made all arrangements to make the MLAs’ stay comfortable. The MLAs had also visited Tirupati in neighboring Andhra Pradesh and had darshan at Balaji Temple.
The MLAs were moved from Patna to Hyderabad amid poaching fears ahead of the trust vote on February 12. The Congress is the second largest constituent of ‘Mahagathbandhan’ which lost power after Chief Minister and JD-U president Nitish Kumar returned to the NDA recently.
The Bihar MLAs had arrived in Hyderabad on a day when Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress MLA returned to Ranchi after a three-day stay in Hyderabad. About 40 MLAs of the two parties had stayed at Leonia Resort on the outskirts of Hyderabad for three days. Jharkhand’s new government led by Champai Soren proved its majority in the state Assembly on February 5.
RJD ready to fight it out in Bihar assembly on Speaker’s removal: Manoj Jha
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) today made it clear that it will give no walkover to the ruling NDA in Bihar a day later when the assembly is scheduled to take up a no-confidence motion against Speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary. RJD national spokesman and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha, whose party has been claiming that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s volte face has caused resentment in the JD(U), urged legislators to vote during the motion in accordance with their conscience.
“Tomorrow, the MLAs would have to choose between two Gandhis. One is just an image inscribed on currency notes. The other was a living epitome of truth who had uttered the name of Lord Ram upon being felled by an assassin’s bullets”, Jha said with a rhetorical flourish.
Waving a few sheets of paper which he claimed were Supreme Court’s orders on removal of an assembly Speaker passed earlier, the RJD leader said, “Going by these judgements, a no-confidence motion in the Bihar assembly must be supported by at least 122 MLAs in the 243-member assembly. We will ensure that the voting tomorrow is held within the Constitutional framework. We wish the NDA all the best.”
Notably, the NDA, which includes the JD(U), the BJP, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM and an Independent, has a combined strength of 128 as against 114 MLAs of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, which comprises RJD, Congress and three Left parties.
Jha’s declamation comes in the wake of speculations that Chaudhary, who has so far refused to step down, might do so on Monday without in order to avoid the embarrassment of being voted out. As per the business agenda released by the Vidhan Sabha secretariat, the no-confidence motion against the Speaker will be taken up immediately after the governor’s customary address to members of the bicameral legislature on the inaugural day of the budget session.
Jha scoffed at suggestions that RJD MLAs had been placed “under virtual house arrest” at former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav’s residence out of fear that some of them might get enticed by the NDA.
“You can see me here, outside Tejashwi Yadav’s house, with my alliance partners. All the MLAs are here together voluntarily, out of solidarity. We are not like those who go into a huddle, calling it a training workshop. We also are unlike those who host a luncheon only to find that many are not turning up”.
The allusion was to a two-day workshop in Bodh Gaya which is being attended by legislators of the BJP and a lunch hosted by JD(U) chief whip Shravan Kumar on Friday when at least five of the party’s 45 MLAs remained conspicuous by their absence.