The Janata Dal (United) led by Nitish Kumar and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition in Bihar will face a trust vote in the state Assembly on Monday. The alliance, with a strength of 128 in the 243-member Assembly, is projected to sail smoothly during the crucial floor test. The majority in the Bihar Assembly is 122.
Ahead of the floor test, an important meeting was called on Sunday at the house of JD(U) leader and Bihar minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary. At the meeting, JD(U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed confidence that he would win the trust vote. He also asked all his party's MLAs to be present in the House for the floor test and to avoid any incidents that could disrupt the proceedings in the Assembly.
The JD(U) has 45 MLAs, excluding Nitish Kumar, who is a member of the legislative council. The BJP, a JD(U) ally in the NDA, has 78 legislators. Furthermore, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) alliance includes four Hindustani Awam Morcha MLAs led by ex-Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. Additionally, independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh, who is also a minister, attended the JD(U) legislative party meeting ahead of the floor test.
Here are the top updates on the Bihar floor test:
1. At Sunday's meeting at Vijay Kumar Chaudhary's house, a few JD(U) MLAs were absent. However, the Bihar minister stated that their absence was due to "unavoidable circumstances" about which they had provided "prior information" and that they would be present in the Assembly during the trust vote today.
2. The NDA alliance in Bihar began their preparation on Saturday with lunch at Minister Shrawan Kumar's residence, wherein many legislators were missing. BJP MLAs, who were in Bodh Gaya to attend a two-day workshop, were brought back to Patna on Sunday, reported news agency PTI. However, a couple of MLAs had skipped the same.
3. RJD MLAs and its Left allies have been camping at the home of former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav since Saturday night. Members of the Mahagathbandhan are scheduled to arrive in the state Assembly today in a show of solidarity.
4. Several videos have surfaced showing Mahagathbandhan members enjoying a bonfire, listening to music, and even playing cricket during their 'stay over' at Tejashwi Yadav's home.
5. Patna Police paid a brief visit to Tejashwi Yadav's home late on Sunday night, following a complaint about RJD MLA Chetan Anand, who claimed to have been kidnapped and placed under house arrest at the former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister's home. However, when the police arrived, Chetan Anand stated that he had gone there of his own accord and had later left Tejashwi Yadav's residence. Chetan Anand is expected to abstain from voting in today's floor test, a report by India Today said.
6. The case is believed to have been filed with Patna Police by Chetan Anand's younger brother. Chetan Anand is the son of Anand Mohan, a former MP and gangster-politician. Later, the RJD responded to the incident on X (formerly Twitter) and accused Nitish Kumar of sending police to Tejashwi Yadav's residence.
7. The Nitish Kumar-led NDA alliance was shaken up abruptly when eight MLAs - five JD(U) and three BJP - went missing overnight. However, sources said that all five JD(U) legislators have returned to their camp. Meanwhile, two BJP legislators, Bhagirithi Devi and Rashmi Verma, have returned, while one, BJP MLA Mishri Lal Yadav, remains uncontacted.
8. Congress MLAs were stationed in Telangana's capital, Hyderabad, for a week due to worries about poaching before returning to Patna on Sunday. The party has as many as 19 MLAs, all of whom later went to Tejashwi Yadav's residence at 5, Deshratna Marg, the bungalow allotted to the RJD leader when he was Bihar's deputy chief minister.
9. As it stands, Bihar Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari is a member of the JD(U), while Speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary belongs to the RJD, which lost power as a result of Nitish Kumar's recent shift to the BJP-led NDA. A no-confidence motion against the Speaker will be taken up today at the Bihar Assembly.
10. The Mahagathbandhan alliance comprises RJD, Congress, and Left allies, which sum up to 114 MLAs. Besides, there is one member of Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), who has not revealed his inclination yet.