Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had a smooth sailing in the state Assembly Friday as he won the decisive floor test with the support of the BJP. While 131 MLAs voted in favour of the JD(U)-BJp combine, 108 MLAs voted against the confidence motion of the chief minister. On Thursday, the NDA alliance submitted a list of 132 MLAs to the Governor — JD(U)’s 71, BJP 53, RLSP 2, LJP 2, HAM 1 and Independents 3.
Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi thanked Congress and RJD. “If Tejashwi had resigned I would not have been here,” he said in the assembly. “The mandate of the people was not to hoard ‘benami’ property. It was not to become the owner of 26 ‘benami’ properties in 26 years,”he added.
On Thursday, Kumar was sworn in along with BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi to head the new government after he walked back into the NDA fold. Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi had asked the chief minister on Thursday to seek a confidence vote within two days of his swearing in.
A day before, he had virtually split the Grand Alliance in the wake of corruption allegations against Tejashwi Yadav, who was the deputy chief minister before the government fell. Kumar said that he was heeding the call of his ”inner conscience” to walk out of the Grand Alliance as it was becoming difficult for him to work under the present circumstances. The RJD leadership had made it clear that Tejashwi will not resign from the cabinet.
RJD leader Tejashwi While addressed the reporters outside the Assembly after the trust vote saying, “The mandate in the 2015 election was for the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance). Today, the BJP, CM Nitish Kumar and those who voted for them in the assembly have insulted that mandate.”
After Kumar walked out of the Grand Alliance, both RJD and Congress leaders flayed the move accusing the chief minister of betraying the mandate of the people. In 2015, the RJD-JDU-Congress alliance had stormed to power beating the BJP-led NDA.
Earlier in the day, the Patna High Court adjourned till Monday the hearing in two public interest litigations (PILs) challenging the formation of the new JD(U)-BJP government in the state, news agency PTI reported. The petitions state that the mandate Nitish Kumar got as the leader of the Grand Alliance in the 2015 state assembly elections was against the BJP and was for a period of five years.
Terming the formation of the new government as “unconstitutional”, the petitions also state that the RJD being the party with maximum number of seats should have been called first to form the government.