Bihar’s new Mahagathbandhan government to prove majority on August 24

Suspense over Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha’s resignation continues

August 23, 2022 08:03 pm | Updated August 24, 2022 10:04 am IST - Patna

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha. File

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The newly formed Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) government in Bihar will prove its majority in the Assembly on Wednesday but suspense looms over Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha’s resignation as he said he would not quit as the no-confidence resolution against him was based on “false charges and with little care for rules”.

Mr. Sinha had not resigned till Tuesday evening. Earlier, about 55 MLAs of the Mahagathbandhan government had moved a no-confidence resolution to remove him.

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) legislators met on Tuesday to chalk out their strategy in the House. The BJP legislature parties of the two Houses too met to devise their strategy for Wednesday.

“Mr. Sinha should have made an honourable exit by now. We wonder what he is trying to prove by not resigning yet, even after 12 days of new government formation? As per rules he [Mr. Sinha] cannot preside over the Assembly proceedings as a resolution for his removal is under consideration of the House”, said RJD MLA Shakti Singh Yadav.

The resolution to remove Mr. Sinha was signed by 55 Mahagathbandhan MLAs and was submitted to the Assembly secretariat on August 10 under rule 110 of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business in the Assembly. “If Mr. Sinha does not resign and he is removed through no-confidence resolution supported by the majority members of the House, it would be the first of its kind example in the history of Bihar Assembly”, said Janata Dal (United) leader and former Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhury.

‘False allegations’

“The no-confidence motion seems to have been filed with little care for rules and false charges. I have been accused of partisanship and a dictatorial attitude. Both allegations are blatantly false and resigning in such circumstances will hurt my self-respect,” said Mr. Sinha, giving strong indication of the upcoming constitutional confrontation between the BJP and the Mahagathbandhan.

When asked what was going to be his party’s stance on Wednesday in the Assembly, Mr. Sinha refused to make any comment. “I am at present occupying the Chair and shall be bound by the norms associated with the constitutional office. My priority will be to discharge my duties in accordance with the rules,” he said. The seven-party Mahagathbandhan government had submitted the letter of support of 164 MLAs to the Governor in the 243-seat Assembly. The current effective strength of the Assembly though is 241.

Meanwhile, the ruling JD(U) leaders said that in the absence of Mr. Sinha, Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari, who is from the JD(U), would preside over the proceedings. The JD(U) leaders said a combined meeting of the grand alliance legislators had been convened at the Chief Minister’s residence on August 24 evening for which all the 164 MLAs had been invited.

The RJD legislators met on Tuesday to devise their strategy over the trust vote on Wednesday. RJD sources said the party had almost finalised the name of Awadh Bihari Chaudhury for the Speaker post, while the JD(U) had proposed the name of party MLC Devesh Chandra Thakur for the post of State Council Chairman. “Consensus on the name of Mr. Chaudhury for the Speaker post was reached before the formation of the new Mahagathbandhan government”, said a senior RJD leader.

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