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NDA Govt headed by Nitish Kumar wins trust vote in Bihar, RJD leader ousted as Speaker

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Patna: The National Democratic Alliance government in Bihar, led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Monday won the trust vote in the state assembly, with 129 MLAs voting in favour of the motion, amid a walkout by all non-NDA members. Altogether, 129 legislators voted in favour of the motion, but Kumar rose to suggest that the vote of Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari, who belongs to the JD(U), also be counted. Usually, the person in the Chair does not take part in voting, unless there is a tie. Hazari ordered a headcount after having declared the motion as passed through voice vote, following a request from Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, which was seconded by Kumar, the JD(U) president. The NDA, comprising the JD(U), BJP, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM and an Independent, had a combined strength of 128 in the 243-strong assembly. However, it received a shot in the arm with three RJD MLAs Prahlad Yadav, Chetan Anand and Neelam Devi walking over to the ruling side. BJP MLAs, who were elated at the party’s return to power after a gap of nearly 17 months, erupted in chants of Jai Shree Ram’ as the trust vote was won by the chief minister, who spoke for nearly 30 minutes, venting spleen against erstwhile allies RJD and Congress as also the opposition INDIA bloc, which he had helped form. Pointing towards RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, who had served as his deputy till he remained with the Mahagathbandhan’, Kumar fumed: “What was the shape of Bihar while it was ruled by his father (Lalu Prasad). There were no roads, people were afraid of venturing out in the dark after sunset. We set it right upon coming to power in 2005.” The JD(U) chief, who was taunted by Yadav with the remark “what is the guarantee that Kumar will not do a flip-flop yet again?”, asserted that he was “with my old allies for ever”and lamented that his efforts to bring together parties opposed to the BJP proved to be of no avail.

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