With days to go for the Bihar trust vote on February 12, the NDA government led by Nitish Kumar and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are engaged in mind games. Speaker Awadh Bihari Choudhary has yet to step down from his position, with the RJD saying that the Nitish government is “precariously placed” and hinting at more changes in political equations in the state. The BJP, meanwhile, has warned of “stern action” if horse-trading is attempted.
An RJD leader told The Indian Express, “It is always safe to have our Speaker in a situation when the Nitish government is precariously placed. The Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), which has been supporting the government, looks non-committal. Some JD(U) MLAs also look upset with Nitish changing sides.”
Saturday also saw both CPI(ML-Liberation) MLAs — Mehboob Alam and Satydeo Ram — meeting Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) patron Jitan Ram Manjhi, in what was described as a courtesy call. Former CM Manjhi later reiterated his party’s position, which he had already clarified on Friday in a post on X that “Mai garib hoon lekin dhokebaz nahi. PM Modi ke saath hi rahenge (I’m poor, but not a betrayer. I’ll continue to be with PM Modi)”.
With the support of four HAM(S) MLAs and an Independent legislator, the NDA has 128 MLAs in the 243-member House.
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