PATNA: The recently formed
government, led by Chief Minister
Kumar, won the trust vote in the state assembly on Monday by 129-0 after the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan staged a walkout from the house during the headcount.
A total of 129 legislators voted in favor of the trust motion in the 243-member assembly. However, the CM suggested that the vote of Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari, who was in the chair, also be counted in his favor. Hazari belongs to Nitish-led JD(U). According to the rule, the person in the chair does not take part in voting unless there is a tie.
Initially, Hazari announced that the ruling NDA won the trust motion by voice vote, but after a request from the state’s parliamentary affairs minister
Vijay Kumar Choudhary
, he ordered a headcount of the members present in the house.
Drama Unfolds in Bihar Assembly: Nitish Kumar’s Trust Motion Win 129-0
The number of legislators supporting the trust motion increased to 129 after three RJD MLAs—Nilam Devi (wife of don-turned-politician Anant Singh), Chetan Anand (son of former MP Anand Mohan), and
(Suryagarha MLA)—crossed over to the ruling alliance before the headcount.
The NDA, comprising the JD(U), BJP, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, and an Independent, had a combined strength of 128 in the 243-member assembly. As three MLAs from the RJD were added, its strength rose to 131, including the deputy speaker. As one of JD(U) MLAs, Dilip Rai, could not reach the house by the time of the trust vote, only 129 voted in favor.
Later in the evening, JD(U) MLA Sudhanshu Shekhar lodged an FIR with Kotwali Police station in the state capital, alleging the abduction of two JD(U) legislators – Dilip Rai and Bima Bharti – by another JD(U) MLA Sanjeev Singh and a contractor allegedly close to the RJD leaders.
Politics heats up in Bihar as parties hold crucial meetings ahead of floor test
The BJP lawmakers, elated at the party’s return to power after a gap of nearly 17 months, raised slogans of “Jai Shree Ram” inside the house soon after the government won the trust vote.
Speaking in favor of his trust motion, Nitish alleged that the RJD leaders indulged in corrupt practices whenever they were in power. Making a direct attack on the opposition RJD, Nitish recalled the poor law and order situation in Bihar when Tejashwi’s parents Lalu Prasad and
were chief ministers before 2005. “What was the condition of Bihar while it was ruled by his father (Lalu Prasad)? There were no roads, people were afraid of venturing out after sunset due to bad law and order. We set things right after coming to power in 2005,” Nitish said.
The CM, who was earlier taunted by Tejashwi with the remark “what is the guarantee that Nitish will not do a ‘Palti’ (flip-flop) yet again?”, asserted that he has now returned to his old allies and will remain with them forever. Nitish also attacked the Congress for not moving things at a faster pace while he was making efforts to unite all opposition parties under the INDIA bloc.
“I had warned the Congress that things were not going well (in the INDIA bloc). Some people were having problems with me occupying the center stage. Later, I came to learn that even his father (Lalu) seemed to have joined my detractors,” said Nitish, who was earlier seen as a contender for the post of convenor in the INDIA bloc.
Nitish assailed Tejashwi also for the latter’s claim that the state witnessed large-scale recruitment of schoolteachers mainly because of the RJD’s commitment to job creation. “Your party (RJD) has been involved in financial wrongdoings whenever it has been in power. All the good work was done when the education department was held by my party (JDU). For a brief period, it was with the Congress when no wrong decisions were taken,” the JD(U) chief said.
Before the CM’s trust motion, the assembly passed a no-confidence motion, moved by the NDA MLAs, for the removal of Speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary, who belongs to the RJD but had refused to resign after the party lost power.
While the debate on the no-confidence motion was going on, Tejashwi rose to his feet and raised a point of order after noticing that three MLAs of his party had crossed over to the ruling side. Tejashwi asked the deputy speaker to ensure that MLAs sit at their respective seats until the time of voting on the trust vote. But the deputy speaker ignored his demand.
The three RJD members voted along with the NDA in favor of the no-confidence motion (against the speaker), which was supported by 125 MLAs and opposed by 112.
Those who opposed the no-confidence motion against the Speaker included Akhtarul Iman, the lone MLA of Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, which is not a part of the ‘Mahagathbandhan. Iman also staged a walkout, along with the opposition members at the time of headcount for the CM’s trust motion.
“It is the stated policy of the AIMIM to remain opposed to communal forces at all costs. I took a stand in line with the policy,” Iman told media persons.
In the meantime, the NDA leadership has decided to elect BJP’s senior leader and former minister Nand Kishore Yadav as the new speaker. Yadav will file nomination papers for the post of the speaker on Tuesday. He is likely to be elected unopposed as the Opposition Mahagathbandhan has so far not announced a contest for the post of the speaker.