Patna: Days after the BJP-JD(U) split, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar moved a trust motion in the state legislature on Wednesday. Nitish Kumar is confident of getting a majority with the Congress confirming that all four of its MLAs will vote for the JD(U).
The BJP claims all 91 of its MLAs will vote against Nitish, but sources say there is infighting within the state unit for the post of leader of the opposition. In fact, four BJP MLAs skipped a meeting of legislators.
For now, the BJP has nominated Sushil Kumar Modi as its leader in the Bihar Legislatve Council and Nand Kishore Yadav in the Legislative assembly. Sushil Modi will be leader of the combined legislative party.
JD(U) leaders said Nitish Kumar was "calm and cool" and spent the day in office on Tuesday, not worried about the trust vote in the 243-seat legislature. "Nitish Kumar was busy as usual in office work. He was not at all tense," an official in the chief minister's office said.
JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said that Wednesday's trust vote would be smooth sailing for Nitish Kumar. The JD(U) has 118 legislators, but it needs 122 votes to win the confidence of the House. Four independent legislators have reportedly pledged support to the JD(U). "After four of the six independent legislators announced their support to Nitish Kumar, the sole LJP legislator, Zakir Hussain Khan, has also announced his support to the government," Neeraj Kumar said.
"We have the magic number of 122 including 118 JD-U legislators, four independents and one LJP legislator," he added. The independents supporting Nitish Kumar are Pawan Kumar Jaiswal, Som Prakash Singh, Vinay Bihari and Dulal Chandra Goswami.
Nitish Kumar called off the alliance with the BJP and his colleague Sharad Yadav quit as the convenor of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) following differences with the BJP over the growing clout of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
(With additional information from IANS)