Nitish wins trust vote; Manjhi camp falls in line

140 MLAs vote, BJP stages walkout

Nitish wins trust vote; Manjhi camp falls in line

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday won the trust vote when 140 MLAs, out of total 233 legislators, overwhelmingly voted in his favour. The confidence motion was passed amid walkout by the 87-member BJP.

Notably, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi remained absent during the proceedings while the dozen odd MLAs from his camp were forced to fall in line (after the whip was issued) and voted in Nitish’s favour.

Though the Bihar Assembly has strength of 243 members, 10 seats are lying vacant owing to death or disqualification cases. In the House of 233 members, Nitish required the support of 117 MLAs to sail through. His aides had worked out their strength tally to 129 which included 98 JD-U MLAs, 24 legislators from the RJD, five from the Congress, one from the CPI and one Independent. The last minute decision of 11 MLAs from Manjhi camp to vote in favour of Nitish swelled the magic figure.

“We will expose you in the Assembly polls, not inside the House,’ said senior BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition Nand Kishore Yadav, before staging a walkout minutes before voting took place through lobby division. “All your claim that 40-50 JD-U MLAs are in regular touch with the BJP appears to be as true (or false) as your leader’s (read: Narendra Modi) claim that he would bring back black money stashed abroad and distribute it among poor,” Nitish took a dig at BJP.

“You BJP people always indulge in horse-trading, like you did in Jharkhand where you split Babulal Marandi’s party and merged the breakaway faction with the BJP simply to keep your ally the AJSU (All Jharkhand Students’ Union) at arms length. The fact is that you are loyal to none – neither my Samata Party (earlier avatar of JD-U), nor the Shiv Sena, nor the AJSU, nor Advani ji, who built the party brick by brick but you put him in old-age home,” Nitish said.

“During the last month election campaign, Modi had said, ‘Delhi’s mood is nation’s mood’. After the result, you must be now aware of the nation’s mood. Be prepared to the face a drubbing in Bihar too,” Nitish went on lambasting the BJP.

After the debate, the voting took place through voice vote but the ruling camp insisted that voting should be done through lobby division which made 140 members to vote in Nitish’s favour.

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