The Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led newly formed Bihar government proved its majority in the floor test held on Wednesday, 24 August, with the support of 160 MLAs.
The coalition breached the halfway mark of 122 MLAs in the 243-member Assembly. “Today is a historic day when the entire country is looking at us with hope. Let them carry out as many raids as possible, the tone has been set for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav said after the victory.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs had walked out of the state Assembly shortly before the trust vote began.
After snapping ties with the BJP, the JD(U) had entered into an alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and other parties to form the government in the state two weeks ago.
While the 'Mahagathbandhan' or grand alliance had a combined strength of 163, its effective strength climbed to 164 after Sumit Kumar Singh, the lone independent MLA, extended his support to Nitish Kumar.
The parties that are supporting the new government are RJD (79 MLAs), JD(U) (45), Congress (19), CPI-ML (12), HAMS (4), CPI (2), CPM (2), and AIMIM (1). The BJP, meanwhile, has 76 MLAs.
'BJP's 3 Jamai – ED, CBI, IT': Tejashwi in Bihar Assembly
After winning the confidence vote, Deputy CM Yadav remarked upon the raids carried out by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the RJD leaders on Wednesday morning, ahead of the Assembly session.
“When the BJP fears or loses in the state, it puts ahead its three 'jamai' (sons-in-law) – CBI, ED and IT... When I go to foreign countries, the BJP issues lookout notices against me and when fraudsters like Nirav Modi run away, they don't do anything.”Tejashwi Yadav
"Raids are being conducted (on premises of a number of RJD leaders) and my name was being dragged into the matter. The intention was clear, to cause demoralisation on a day we were faced with a historic trust vote,” he said.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who sat beside Yadav, could be seen chuckling numerous times as the RJD leader tore into state leaders of the BJP whom he accused of being “tongue-tied when faced with your leaders in Delhi.”
"Ours is going to be an unbroken partnership. It will remain not out," Yadav said, alluding to his relationship with Nitish Kumar.
'Was Pressured by BJP To Become CM in 2020': Nitish
In his speech that lasted for about half an hour, Nitish Kumar said, "After the 2020 polls, I was ready for a Chief Minister from the BJP since they had more MLAs. But there was serious pressure on me to continue as chief minister. They said you become chief minister. So, I finally agreed."
Kumar also made indirect references to rebellion by LJP's Chirag Paswan, allegedly at BJP's behest, and attempts to cause a split in JD(U) through his former protégé RCP Singh.
Kumar asserted that he had "no personal ambitions," rejecting the BJP's charge that his latest volte face was aimed at becoming the prime ministerial candidate of the Opposition camp.
Without mentioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi by name, he said, “The current dispensation does little except publicity ('prachar prasar')".
Ahead of the vote, CM Nitish Kumar, while addressing the Assembly, said that the RJD and JD (U) have taken a "pledge to work together for the development of Bihar."
"Leaders from across the country called me and congratulated me on this decision and I urged all of them to fight together in the 2024 elections," he added.
Bihar Assembly Speaker's Resignation Ahead of Vote
Proceedings for the confidence motion were briefly stalled on Wednesday afternoon as Vijay Kumar Sinha resigned from the post of Bihar Assembly speaker and adjourned proceedings till 2 pm.
"Bowing before majority, I resign as speaker," Sinha, who belongs to the BJP which now stands stripped of power in the state, said.
The election of the Speaker in the Bihar Assembly will be held on 26 August. Deputy speaker Maheshwar Hajari will preside over the Assembly till then.
CBI Raids Against RJD Leaders Ahead of Floor Test
The CBI on Wednesday conducted fresh raids at 25 locations in Patna, Madhubani, Kathar, Delhi, and Gurugram, including at an under-construction mall in Gurugram believed to being built by a firm owned by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, in connection with the alleged land-for-jobs scam.
The homes of four senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders – Sunil Singh, Ashfaque Karim, Faiyaz Ahmed, and Subodh Rai – were among those raided hours before the party's coalition was set to prove its majority in the floor test in the Bihar Assembly.
The move was condemned by several party leaders as a calculated one, directed at undermining the RJD-JD(U) alliance's strength in the trust vote.
(With inputs from PTI.)