Latest India News | Both camps corral MLAs, Nitish set to win trust vote | India News

PATNA: Bihar’s political landscape is ablaze with high-octane drama as CM Nitish Kumar prepares to prove his govt’s majority in assembly on budget session’s inaugural day slated for Monday. JD(U) leader Nitish, requiring 122 lawmakers’ backing, seems to command a majority on paper after severing ties with RJD-Congress-Left Grand Alliance (GA) on Jan 28 and joining NDA.

With support of 128 MLAs, including BJP (78), JD-U (45), HAMS (4), and one independent, NDA appears poised Sunday to secure victory during the trust vote in 243-member assembly. In contrast, GA stands at 115 MLAs, comprising RJD (79), Congress (19), Left (16), and AIMIM (1).

Amid fears of MLA poaching, both sides have fortified their ranks by corralling respective lawmakers. Probability of a significant exodus of legislators from their camps seems remote, considering the inherent risk of forfeiting their assembly membership. With over 20 months remaining to relish perks of their MLA status, the allure of stability and security within their current affiliations prevails.

JD(U) minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary exuded confidence in securing the trust vote, emphasising NDA’s support base. BJP MLAs returned from a Bodh Gaya training camp, congregating at deputy CM Vijay Kumar Sinha’s residence, as preparations for the crucial vote intensified. Against a backdrop of political maneuvering, RJD and Congress MLAs sought refuge at former deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav’s residence, bracing for the looming showdown. RJD MP Manoj Jha indicated that GA would not give NDA a walkover and asked Nitish to show 122 MLAs’ support required to remove speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary, who belongs to RJD.

Fate of speaker Chaudhary remains uncertain, with a no-trust proposal submitted against him. Chaudhary asserted his intent to preside over the session, while NDA contested the validity of his claim, citing constitutional stipulations.

With Feb 12 marking 16th day since submission of no-confidence proposal against him on Jan 28, NDA emphasised adherence to Article 179 of the Constitution and Article 110 of Rules of House Conduct and Business.


According to BJP MLA Nand Kishore Yadav, procedural clarity is paramount. “A notice against speaker can be given even by one member of House. It is the first on the agenda of the House after the governor’s joint address to legislators,” he said. “Once no-trust proposal comes, speaker has to vacate chair and his deputy will preside over proceedings. Secondly, notice is given to assembly secretary and not speaker. House rules are very clear,” he elaborated.

Former additional solicitor general SD Sanjay cited Patna HC’s judgment in Karpoori Thakur vs Abdul Gafoor case of 1975, along with Articles 176(1) and 181. “When any new session begins, governor has the right to address a single House or joint session. It must be followed by a no-confidence notice against Speaker if there is any such. In that case, speaker will have to vacate chair. Then only comes the trust vote.” Article 181 specifies that speaker will not preside while a resolution for removal from office is under consideration.