Bihar crisis:All eyes on Governor
Nitish claims majority, demands Assembly trial in 48 hours; JD(U) expels Manjhi
Soon after meeting Bihar Governor Kehsari Nath Tripathi, senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, party president Sharad Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad addressed the media outside Raj Bhawan in Patna and said they had claimed majority in their favour to form the government under Nitish Kumar.
They also said that if their claim was not heard, they would march to the President for his attention.
“We’ve apprised the honorable Governor about majority in our support and requested him to invite us to form the government as soon as possible. Any delay in decision would mean mockery of the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution and democracy,” Mr. Kumar said.
Delay would also promote horse trading, he added.
Making an oblique reference to Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s meeting with the Prime Minister on Sunday, Nitish Kumar said the announcement that there would be an expansion of the Cabinet and appointment of two Deputy Chief Ministers only indicated horse-trading and allurement of MLAs.
Nitish Kumar also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of playing political games in the background. “It is on their indications it’s all happening, which is very unfortunate for democracy”, he said.
He further said that they had also requested the Governor to take a decision before the upcoming budget session of the State Assembly, as the Governor had to read the speech prepared by the State government ahead of the session. “In this case which speech, prepared by which government, would he read? It is important that a decision must be taken before the budget session.”
The budget session of the Assembly is scheduled to begin on February 20, the date when Chief Minister Mr. Manjhi has also called a meeting of the legislature party.
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad too said that they urged the Governor to take a decision on this political crisis soon and invite Nitish Kumar to form the government as he has majority in his favour.
Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh, CPI leader Awadhesh Rai and two Independents too were present during meeting with the Governor.
Meanwhile, outside the gate of the Raj Bhawan, all 130 party MLAs supporting the Nitish Kumar faction of the JD(U) were seated with proof of identity documents for any emergency call to appear before the Governor.
Earlier, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh, who supports Mr. Manjhi, declared that Mr. Manjhi had the support of 140 MLAs and that they would prove the majority on the floor of the Assembly.
“We’ll also take support from BJP to prove our majority”, he said. BJP has 87 members in the Assembly and a party needs support of 117 MLAs out of total 233 [10 seats are vacant] to form the government.
The Nitish-led faction has submitted letter of support of 130 MLAs to the Governor.
Meanwhile, Mr. Manjhi is scheduled to meet the Governor to apprise him on the political crisis.