JD(U) MLAs to meet this weekend ahead of trust vote of Nitish govt

Patna: JD(U) legislators in Bihar will go into huddles this weekend ahead of the crucial trust vote to be sought by the Nitish Kumar government, party leaders said on Saturday.They, however, insisted that a luncheon to be hosted by Shrawan Kumar on Saturday and high tea at Vijay Kumar Chaudhary’s place a day later are part of a “tradition of the JD(U) before every assembly session”.”The party is confident of winning the trust vote on Monday. We usually meet before the beginning of every assembly session. Such gatherings were earlier held at the residences of the two senior party leaders”, JD(U) national general secretary Afaque Ahmad Khan told PTI.The views were echoed by Vijay Kumar Chaudhary and Shrawan Kumar, both of whom are counted among the most trusted cabinet colleagues of Nitish Kumar, the JD(U) president.Both JD(U) leaders have been retained as ministers in the new cabinet of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.While Chaudhary has been a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly since 1982, Shrawan Kumar has been an MLA from Nalanda constituency since 1995.Amid speculations about moves and counter moves being made for poaching of MLAs by both the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ and the ruling NDA sides, JD(U) legislators’ huddle in Patna ahead of the crucial assembly session has gained significance.”There are normal meetings of party legislators ahead of the assembly session. These meetings have nothing to do with the trust vote. The NDA government will easily win the vote of confidence on February 12. We (NDA) have the majority and will win the trust vote. We have the magic figure”, Chaudhary, the state parliamentary affairs minister, told PTI.He claimed that “leaders of the opposition parties are scared of the NDA government in Bihar”.”This is why the opposition parties are spreading rumours about the trust vote and also about the meetings of JD(U) legislators,” Chaudhary said.Shrawan Kumar, the state rural development minister and also the chief whip of JD(U) in the assembly, told PTI, ‘Legislators’ meetings ahead of the assembly session is a routine affair. Those who are spreading rumours about these meetings are simply wasting their energy. The result of the trust vote is already out ‘the NDA government will win the vote of confidence’.Nitish Kumar had on January 28 taken oath as the chief minister of Bihar for a record ninth time after a dramatic volte-face, ditching the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ and the opposition bloc INDIA and forming a new government with the BJP, which he had dumped less than 18 months ago.The newly formed NDA government will seek the trust vote on February 12, when the assembly’s budget session commences.It has a majority with 128 members supporting the BJP-JD(U) combine.The magic figure for the majority is 122 in the 243-member Bihar assembly.After the exit of JD(U), the strength of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ has been reduced to 114. The RJD and the Congress are part of the opposition alliance.One member of AIMIM is not supporting the alliance.



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