Bihar: Trust vote looms as NDA and opposition brace for showdown

Meanwhile, opposition parties, led by Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), are pulling out all stops to ensure their strength remains intact. Amid speculation of potential poaching, RJD MLAs’ belongings were relocated to Tejashwi Yadav’s residence in Patna.

| Updated: 11 February, 2024 1:35 pm IST
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar's newly formed alliance with the NDA to face a critical trust vote in the state assembly

NEW DELHI: The political landscape of Bihar is on the edge as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s newly formed alliance with the NDA faced a critical trust vote in the state Assembly on Monday. Kumar, who recently rejoined the NDA fold, expressed his commitment, stating, “Ab idhar udhar nahi honge” (I will not go here and there anymore), solidifying his allegiance. His party, Janata Dal-United (JDU), issued a three-line whip mandating the presence of all MLAs during the crucial floor test.

Meanwhile, opposition parties, led by Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), are pulling out all stops to ensure their strength remains intact. Amid speculation of potential poaching, RJD MLAs’ belongings were relocated to Tejashwi Yadav’s residence in Patna.

The BJP, a key player in the NDA alliance, is leaving no stone unturned. Conducting a two-day workshop in Bodh Gaya for its legislators, the party aims to strategise effectively for the upcoming challenges.

ALSO READ: Nitish Kumar’s exit weakens Indi-alliance

However, the unity of parties within the alliances seems fragile. Absences were noted in gatherings called by various parties, hinting at internal rifts. JDU’s “unity feast” saw five absent MLAs, while the BJP and RJD faced similar situations.

The absence of a few MLAs holds significant weight as the numbers game intensifies. The NDA currently holds a slim majority with 128 MLAs against the opposition’s 114. Any deviation could tilt the balance.

Moreover, the no-confidence motion against Assembly Speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary adds another layer of complexity. Chaudhary’s refusal to resign before the trust vote heightens tensions, as the outcome of this motion could sway the fate of the government.

ALSO READ: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar resigns, ponders joining NDA amid INDIA bloc turmoil

According to the BJP sources, former chief minister and NDA partner, Jitan Ram Manjhi would be sent to the Rajya Sabha as part of a deal to retain him in the NDA.

Manjhi had posted on X saying whatever “khela” (game) was to happen had happened, and there would be no more of it. “The NDA has been strong under the leadership of PM Modi and will remain so,” he wrote.

In response to the brewing political turmoil, Congress took a cautious approach, relocating its MLAs to Hyderabad temporarily.

As the D-day approaches, the rhetoric between the ruling coalition and the opposition amplifies. Senior JD(U) leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary exuded confidence, stating, “Floor test is basically a number game… and we have the numbers.” Conversely, RJD spokesperson Bhai Virendra affirmed the unity of the opposition, vowing a resolute response on February 12.

 

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