Bihar: Nitish Kumar wins trust vote; BJP MLAs storm out
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar won the floor test in the Bihar Assembly on Wednesday, days after he formed a new government with Tejashwi Yadav as his deputy. The new 'Mahagathbandhan 2.0' government won the trust vote and will be governing Bihar for the next two years. "I have no personal ambition, I want to work for Bihar," the CM said.
- Kumar's Janata Dal (United) broke away from alliance partner BJP after being at loggerheads in the recent past over numerous issues and formed a coalition government with the RJD and other parties.
- Kumar and Yadav took their oaths of office on August 10.
- Earlier, Kumar had abandoned the "Mahagathbandhan" government to join hands with the BJP in 2017.
As expected, Kumar and the new government won the trust vote of the Assembly. The BJP stormed out of the house as the JD(U) supremo began his victory speech. While calling for a united opposition for 2024, the leader accused the BJP of being a 'campaign expert' and polarising society. The house underwent a voice vote for the results.
We (RJD and JDU) have taken the pledge to work together for the development of Bihar. Leaders from across the country called me and congratulated me on this decision and I urged all of them to fight together in the 2024 elections: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in Legislative Assembly pic.twitter.com/gUUmXuujMm— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2022
In a 40-minute speech before the trust vote, Yadav, the cricketer-turned-politician said that there will not be a "run-out" of the RJD-JD(U) alliance this time. Attacking the BJP on a day when investigative agencies raided RJD politicians, Yadav said, "If you ask a child in Bihar about the ED, CBI, and IT, they will tell you that these agencies work for the BJP."
Assembly Speaker Vijay Sinha stepped down from the post minutes into the session, despite refusing to do the same earlier. After a no-confidence motion was moved against him, Sinha said that the allegations are unsubstantiated. This comes as a win for Kumar, who has had many verbal spats with Sinha in the previous sessions. RJD member Awadh Chaudhary may become the new speaker.
In a long speech before his resignation, Sinha said, "Some of the members moving the motion against me alleged that I had been undemocratic and dictatorial. This I cannot accept." The no-confidence motion had been moved against Sinha about two weeks ago when Kumar severed ties with the BJP. Since Kumar has the support of 164 MLAs, the floor test comes as a formality.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided 24 locations in Bihar on the day of the floor test in the state assembly. The raids have been organized in the alleged land-for-railway-jobs scam. Two key RJD leaders, MP Ahmad Ashfaque Karim and MLC Sunil Singh, have also been raided. The alleged scam dates back to chief Lalu Yadav's tenure as Railway Minister in UPA government.
The floor test comes a week after Kumar and Yadav expanded the 'Mahagathbandhan 2.0' cabinet. While RJD scored 16 ministerial berths, JD(U) took 11, and Congress got two. Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha scored one berth, while a lone Independent MLA also took the oath. The CM got the Home Department while deputy Yadav took Health, Road Construction, Housing, and Urban Development.