JD(U) and RJD Spar Before Bihar Assembly Floor Test

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Patna: Political parties in Bihar on Sunday ramped up their efforts to ensure support from their MLAs ahead of a crucial floor test scheduled in the Bihar assembly on Monday. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar convened a legislative party meeting of the JD(U) to strategize for the trust vote. The party had earlier issued a whip to ensure the presence of its MLAs in the assembly during the floor test.Addressing the meeting, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar assured the MLAs that the NDA would prove its majority on the floor of the house on Monday.A similar meeting of BJP MLAs was also convened at Deputy CM Vijay Kumar Sinha’s residence on Sunday evening. The meeting was held after the BJP MLAs returned to Patna from a two-day training session in Bodh Gaya.Sources aware of the development said that the BJP leadership discussed strategies to counter the opposition parties in the state assembly during the floor test.However, sources said that the absence of a few of the JD(U) MLAs has sparked concerns within the NDA. When asked about the issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary confirmed that “two or three members couldn’t turn up for the meeting due to unavoidable circumstances. They will be present in the house during the floor test. The NDA has adequate numbers to prove majority on the floor of the house”.The Mahagathbandhan, being led by RJD, Congress and left parties had assembled at Tejashwi Yadav’s residence. According to reports, the opposition may disrupt the proceedings of the house during the floor test and resist the proposal to oust assembly speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary.The RJD clarified that the opposition was unwilling to concede to the NDA as the assembly prepared to address a no-confidence motion against the speaker. The RJD, which has been claiming that Nitish Kumar’s flip-flop has stirred discontent within the JD(U), has urged its MLAs to vote based on their conscience during the motion.RJD MP Manoj Jha who was also present at Tejashwi Yadav’s residence, said that “as per the rule, the no-confidence motion in the Bihar assembly must be supported by at least 122 MLAs. The NDA must show adequate numbers to bring the proposal”.Nitish Kumar was sworn in as Chief Minister for the ninth time on January 28 after he dumped the RJD-Congress-led Mahagathbandhan and returned to the NDA fold. The newly formed NDA government is set to face a floor test on Monday when the assembly’s budget session commences.The Nitish Kumar-led NDA government which is being backed by the JD(U), BJP, and Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) has the support of 128 MLAs. The number required to prove the majority is 122 in the 243-member Bihar assembly.The opposition’s Mahagathbandhan with RJD, Congress and left parties support has 114 on its side.Mr. Chaudhary, who is also a close associate of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that after the Governor’s speech, the members will bring a no-confidence motion against the assembly speaker.“We have the number to bring the no-confidence motion against the speaker. The opposition also knows it. They are also aware that the NDA has the support of 128 MLAs and would easily prove the majority. They are just trying to create confusion by their statements”, JD(U) leader and parliamentary affairs minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said.

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