Home > politics > policy > Nitish Kumar wins confidence vote in Bihar Assembly

A day after he was sworn in as Bihar chief minister for the sixth time, Janata Dal United or JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar won the confidence vote in the state assembly on Friday.

Kumar, who has formed an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won the trust vote with 131 votes while the opposition got 108 votes.

The alliance needed 122 votes to win the trust vote in the 243-member assembly. With JD(U)’s 71 MLAs and BJP-led NDA’s 58 MLAs, the JD(U)-NDA alliance had been expected to sail through the floor test.

Kumar was sworn in as chief minister on Thursday and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi took oath as deputy chief minister. The swearing in formalized the alliance between BJP and JD(U), with Kumar returning to BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), four years after breaking away from it.

On Wednesday, Kumar had resigned as chief minister over differences with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, the JDU’s partner in the so-called mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). The differences were over Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi Yadav not resigning from the cabinet, in which he was deputy chief minister, after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed corruption charges against him.

The alliance, which also included the Congress party, came to power in 2015.

Sushil Modi said the grand alliance had died a natural death.

“It was known that alliance would not last long. It was an unnatural alliance that died a natural death. Thus it broke in just 20 months. Happy that Nitish Kumar took the right decision at the right time. We will work together in the remaining 40 months and take Bihar on the path of development," he told a reporter.

Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Prasad’s son hit out at Kumar for insulting the mandate of the voters of Bihar. “The mandate of the 2015 election was for the grand alliance. The people of Bihar wanted peace, brotherhood, Bihar’s development and had voted for the grand alliance. Today Nitish Kumar and BJP have dishonoured that mandate. Bihar’s voters feel cheated and dishonoured," he said.

About the floor test, Tejashwi Yadav said, “We wanted a secret vote and had requested the chair of the assembly for the same. We had even met the Governor and told him that single largest party should be asked to come and form a majority (government). But everything happened in a rush; this is cheating us and people of Bihar. We will go to the public and tell them the truth," he said.

In another setback to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, the Patna high court refused to hear RJD’s plea challenging the formation of the new government in Bihar. The court said that the hearing was not possible before 31 July.

Speaking in the Bihar assembly, Kumar said his decision was taken in the interest of Bihar.

“We were given the mandate in 2015 for development and for transparency. I followed all responsibilities of being an alliance partner but could not work anymore under the given circumstances. I also asked the Congress to intervene and help solve problems arising in the alliance. Whatever decision I took, it was taken in the interest of Bihar. We were given the mandate to serve the state, not a family. We have zero tolerance for corruption and I assure you that we will take Bihar on the path of development," he said.

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