Nitish Kumar government wins floor test in Bihar Assembly

Opposition members stage walkout from the House twice

August 24, 2022 05:28 pm | Updated August 25, 2022 12:43 am IST

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish, his deputy Tejashwi Yadav and JD(U) president Lalan Singh at a meeting of grand alliance legislators in Patna on August 24, 2022.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish, his deputy Tejashwi Yadav and JD(U) president Lalan Singh at a meeting of grand alliance legislators in Patna on August 24, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar–led Mahagathbandhan government on Wednesday won the floor test in the State Assembly to prove majority while Opposition BJP legislators walked out of the session. Mr. Kumar proved his majority first by voice vote and then by counting of votes. 

Earlier, Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha resigned from his post saying he would have resigned earlier but he wanted to respond allegations of being a dictator, to do things on his own etc. made against him. Later, Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari conducted House proceedings and adjourned it till August 25.

When Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari announced that the trust vote has been passed by voice vote, former Speaker and State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhury requested him for counting of votes which was promptly accepted by Mr. Hazari. But the Opposition BJP legislators who, earlier, had walked out from the House during Chief Minister Kumar’s speech on debate of the trust vote, suddenly re-entered the House and opposed the move for counting of votes as the “result of voice vote has already been announced” and staged a walkout from the House again. Later, a total 160 MLAs voted in favour of the trust vote while no Opposition votes were counted.

Deputy Speaker Hazari who was in chair after Speaker Vijay Sinha had resigned from his post, earlier had allowed a two-hour debate over the trust vote sought by the new Mahagathbandhan government. Former Deputy Chief Minister and senior State BJP leader Tarkishore Prasad attacked the Chief Minister for his regular flip-flops “to remain in the chair of CM” and also alleged that 75% of Ministers in the Mahagathbandhan government are tainted.

“He (Mr. Kumar) is a habitual turncoat as earlier he had politically sacrificed leaders like George Fernandes and Sharad Yadav. In 2013 he betrayed us only to join us again in 2017 and then again betrayed us. In 2014 Lok Sabha election, his party had got only two seats and in 2020 Assembly poll they got only 43 seats and we 74 but we still made him Chief Minister of the State”, said Mr. Prasad in his 25-minute speech. He also recalled what both Mr. Kumar and RJD leaders like Tejashwi Yadav and his father Lalu Prasad had said after Mr. Kumar had severed ties with RJD in 2017.

In his reply to Mr. Prasad, Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav slammed BJP and charged that the party has only three sons-in-law - CBI, ED and I-T. “With our joining hands again, the real threat for BJP is 2024 Lok Sabha election. BJP wanted to foment communal tension in Bihar but we want special status and special package for the development of the State”, said Mr. Tejashwi while adding, “ jo darega woh marega, jo ladega woh jitega (those who get frightened will die, those who fight will win)”.

“This alliance will have never-ending innings”, he said over the newly formed alliance with JD(U). Mr. Yadav also called CM Kumar a brave leader and friend of his father Mr. Lalu Prasad. “We all have socialist ideology and we’ll together bring development to Bihar”, he said while, praising his father Mr. Lalu Prasad that he never ever succumbed before communal forces.

Later, CM Kumar too took on BJP and alleged that today no work is being done by the government at the Centre except “advertisement and publicity”. Mr. Kumar, though, listed development works done by his government in the State. He also reiterated that he didn’t have any ambition in life except uniting Opposition for development in the country and Bihar. Mr. Kumar recalled the days of BJP leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. “ Lekin yeh jo aaye hain, koi kaam kiya hai kya (but, he who has come, has he done any work?)”, asked Mr. Kumar in oblique reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and added, “What were you (BJP) doing during freedom struggle?”. “Their only work is to foment communal and social tension in society but we’ll not let it happen”, he further said.

Later, Mr. Hazari adjourned the House till August 25.

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