Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar comfortably won the crucial trust vote 131-108 on Friday, after slanging match between Nitish Kumar, who vociferously defended his decision to return to the NDA fold, and the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, who told the chief minister that he had murdered democracy and betrayed the mandate of the people of Bihar.
The result of the floor test, held a day after Nitish Kumar took office for the sixth time, was a foregone conclusion given the numerical superiority of the bloc supporting his government. Four members in the 243-member house could not vote, reducing the total strength of the House during the trust vote to 239.
Replying to the debate on the confidence vote, Kumar tore into the likes of Lalu Prasad and others who criticised him for returning to the BJP-led NDA’s fold. “People (the Opposition) should not teach me lessons in secularism. Secularism is to be practised. I cannot be with people who commit the sin of amassing property through corrupt means while hiding behind the shield of secularism.”
Leading the Opposition charge in the Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav accused Nitish Kumar of joining hands with the killers of Mahatma Gandhi. “Yogi Adityanath (the UP CM) and some BJP leaders have serious cases registered against them. Will you ask all of them to resign,” he said.
NDA leaders led by Sushil Modi have already begun the process of selecting names for the Cabinet. Former CM Jitan Manjhi, who is the president of the Hindustani Awam Morcha, was sounded out by the BJP with the offer to join the Cabinet, but he has reportedly refused. Sources close to Manjhi said he is eyeing a Governor’s post.