Bihar Politics: Nitish Kumar-Led NDA Govt To Undergo Floor Test Today

Bihar Politics: Nitish Kumar-Led NDA Govt To Undergo Floor Test Today

Nitish had formed a new government with the BJP by snapping ties with the 'Grand Alliance' as he took oath as chief minister for the record 9th time on January 28, switching sides for the 5th time in little over 10 years.

Dheeraj KumarUpdated: Monday, February 12, 2024, 08:39 AM IST
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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar | PTI

Amid intense speculation over prospects of crossvoting, the newly formed NDA government will face a high-octane floor test on the first day of the assembly's budget session on Monday.

Nitish had formed a new government with the BJP by snapping ties with the 'Grand Alliance' as he took oath as chief minister for the record 9th time on January 28, switching sides for the 5th time in little over 10 years.

Since then, all major parties of the state have left no stone unturned to ensure that their MLAs do not shift their loyalty to other parties during the trust vote; under duress, all parties have issued whips to their MLAs to be present during the floor test.

The stakeholder MLAs have also been sequestered in resorts to prevent poaching. While the Congress to ward off overtures moved its 16 out of total 19 MLAs to a resort in Hyderabad, RJD leader and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav has cooped up all his 78 MLAs at his own residence. All Congress MLAs have since returned to the state capital from Hyderabad. After the arrival, the party's Bihar chief Dr Akhilesh Prasad Singh said, "All our MLAs are with us, and they all will be present in the Assembly tomorrow."

BJP MLAs Taken To Bodh Gaya

On the other hand, the BJP ferried its MLAs to Bodh Gaya, ostensibly to participate in a training camp. The BJP MLAs also returned to the state capital late evening on Sunday.

Preparations were made to accommodate all JD(U) MLAs at Hotel Chanakya in Patna. JD(U) chief whip Shravan Kumar has the responsibility of mobilising the MLAs. As per sources, the party's central leadership was engaged in contacting MLAs who are unreachable by phone. Instructions have been issued to reach out to such MLAs under any circumstances.

Incidentally, the governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar on Sunday changed his team of legal advisors a day before the floor test. He appointed senior advocate Dr Krishna Nandan Singh as his Chief Legal Advisor and made other changes.

Speaker To Resign From His Post

After the governor's joint address to the state legislature, a no-confidence motion will be moved against the assembly Speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary. He had already declared that he would not resign from his post.

Meanwhile, Assembly's Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari said that Chaudhary should resign from his post by respecting the rules. Hazari, who is a JD (U) MLA said, that Chaudhary could not conduct the proceedings of the House in view of the noconfidence motion.

After the decision on the no-confidence motion, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will present a motion of confidence for his government in the Assembly.

Earlier, Nitish had exuded confidence of winning the trust vote. “All is well, Do not worry,” he had remarked while replying to a media query on the floor test.

At present, NDA has 128 MLAs, as against the grand alliance`s 114. The Grand Alliance, however, is claiming that it has the support of 115 MLAs, including one AIMIM MLA.

While BJP has 78 MLAs, JD (U) 45 MLAs, Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) four, and an independent MLA, the opposition holds 114 seats. For a majority, 122 seats are required.

Why Floor Test?

Although Nitish had extended letters of support from 128 MLAs while claiming to form a new government, the governor asked him to prove majority on the floor of the house. Earlier, Nitish was supposed to prove his majority in the assembly on February 10 itself but the floor test was extended by two days.

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