On Monday, the legislature passed a motion of confidence in the Nitish Kumar-led NDA administration in Bihar. The opposition members walked out when the new administration won 129 votes. There are 243 MLAs in the Bihar legislature.
Awadh Bihari Chaudhary, the Speaker of the Bihar Assembly, was dismissed from office earlier in the day in a trust vote in which 112 members voted against the motion of no-confidence in the speaker and 125 MLAs in favor of it. The motion of no-confidence against the Speaker was filed by BJP MLA Nandkishore Yadav.
RJD member Chaudhary had refused to resign after his party lost power two weeks before when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar severed connections with the “Mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) once again and rejoined the coalition formed by the BJP.
At least three of the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s members were seated on the governing party benches in the Bihar parliament on Monday, giving the party—which has lost support in the state—a shock.
Before voting on a no-confidence vote against Speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav raised a point of order to express disapproval of party MLAs Chetan Anand, Neelam Devi, and Prahlad Yadav sitting among members of the governing NDA.
However, Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari, who was seated, did not rule on the point of order.
“Your nephew will lead the opposition to Modi.”
Speaking on the House floor, Tejashwi Yadav said he had always thought of Nitish Kumar as ‘Dashrath’ and a father figure, and he was curious as to what had compelled him to leave the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ and rejoin the party.
The former deputy chief minister made fun of Nitish by stating that it was Nitish’s third time being sworn in during a five-year tenure and that he “stands against this new government.” By taking an oath nine times, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made history, and for that I am grateful.
“I feel awful for the JDU MLAs because they will have to respond to questions from the public. What would you answer if someone asked you why Nitish Kumar took an oath three times? What would you say now that you are applauding the BJP when you used to criticize them? We (RJD) will claim to have provided employment.”
Leader of the RJD Tejashwi Yadav
“We are from the Samajwadi family,” the RJD leader stated, referring to Nitish as a member of his family. “You had carried the flag to stop Modi in the country; now your nephew will carry the flag to stop Modi in Bihar.” “Jo aap jhanda le kar ke chale the ki Modi ko desh mein rokne hain, ab aapka Bhateeja jhanda utha kar ke Modi ko Bihar mein rokne ka kaam karega.”
With a biting critique of the news that former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur will get the Bharat Ratna (posthumously), Tejashwi claimed that the BJP had struck a deal on the award. “I’m glad Karpoori Thakur received the Bharat Ratna. The BJP worked out a deal for Bharat Ratna. If you cooperate with us, we’ll grant you Bharat Ratna.”
Tejashwi said that the BJP was afraid of the “Mahagathbandhan” administration and asked PM Modi if he could ensure Nitish Kumar wouldn’t make another U-turn.
Out of the 243 MLAs in the legislature, 128 are from the NDA and 115 are from the Mahagathbandhan. The governing coalition needs 122 votes in the House to surpass the majority threshold.
The JD(U), led by chief minister Nitish, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, and minister Sumit Kumar Singh, an independent MLA, are all part of the NDA administration. There are 45 MLAs for the JD(U), 79 for the BJP, and 4 for the HAM.
Earlier in January, Nitish—who had allegedly lost his cool when he was not named the convenor of INDIA, the Opposition bloc that he helped to shape—left the national coalition and the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar to form a new government with the backing of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the BJP.
On January 28, Nitish resigned as chief minister, putting an end to wild rumors about his and the Mahagathbandhan’s future in Bihar. This was Nitish’s second backdown in less than 18 months.