Patna (Bihar) [India]: Ahead of the floor test in Bihar tomorrow, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha said that to remove the speaker of the assembly, the JD (U) and BJP need the votes of half the total members, i.e., out of the 243 members in the Bihar Vidhan Sabha, the NDA will need 122 votes.
Bihar assembly speaker Awadh Bihari Choudhary, an RJD leader, is facing a no-confidence motion after several leaders from the BJP-led NDA sought his removal.
"From Article 179(c) of the Indian Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the Nabam Rebia case, it is clear that to remove the Speaker, you need the votes of half of the total members of the Assembly. This means that out of 243 members, you will need 122 votes to pass the motion to remove the Speaker," Manoj Jha said.
Notably, trust vote of the Nitish Kumar-led government in Bihar, scheduled for February 12. Nitish Kumar, earlier this month, had dumped the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) and the INDIA bloc to form a new government with the support of the BJP in Bihar.
He advised NDA bloc to follow the Supreme Court judgement and took a dig at them regarding horse trading of the MLAs ahead of the trust vote.
"Those who talk about Gandhism, I want to ask them which Gandhi do you like more? The one on the currency or the one that said 'Hey Ram'?... I want them (NDA) to follow the Supreme Court judgement and give the message of constitutionalism to this country," he said.
The RJD MP further said that we are all united to save democracy. All the leaders of our 'Mahagathbandhan' are standing together.
After days of speculation, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar resigned as the Chief Minister of Bihar on January 28, his second volte face in less than 18 months. Snapping ties with the RJD and Congress, Nitish formed a government with BJP's support, and took oath as Bihar's CM for ninth time.
Nitish Kumar cited the state of affairs being "not right" under the Mahagathbandhan as his reason for quitting. He said that he has been receiving suggestions from everywhere, including his party workers, and he listened to all of them to come to this decision.
At present, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-bloc led by the Bharatiya Janata Party has 128 seats in the Bihar assembly, out of which the BJP holds 78 seats, the JDU has 45 seats, the Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) has four, and an independent MLA holds one seat.
The opposition holds 114 seats. For a majority, 122 seats are required. Meanwhile, the trust vote is set to take place on February 12.
Earlier, state Assembly Deputy Speaker, Maheshwar Hazari said that the moral duty of a speaker is to resign as per the Indian Constitution before the no-confidence motion comes into place.
"The Governor's address will be held in the Central Hall on February 12 at 12:30 p.m. Now that the no-confidence motion has been taken on January 28, the moral duty for a speaker is to resign as per the Indian Constitution. If it doesn't happen, then a proposal on the no-confidence motion will be made by the floor, and at least 38 members are required to support it. After that, there will be voting on the no-confidence motion and work will be done according to the agenda prepared after that," he said.