In a major embarrassment to the Rashtriya Janata Dal, its no-confidence motion in the Bihar assembly against the Nitish Kumar government was on Thursday rejected by Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary due to the lack of required strength of supporting members.
Soon after the Question Hour, RJD Member of Legislative Assembly Durga Prasad Singh and six other party members submitted a no-confidence motion against the government to the Speaker.
After a brief perusal of the signatories, Chaudhary rejected the no-confidence motion on the ground that only 17 members wanted to bring such a motion, as against the minimum requirement of 23 members.
The Congress, the Lok Janshakti Party, the Communist Party of India and six Independent MLAs did not come forward to support the RJD's no-confidence motion.
Singh defended his initiative to bring the no-confidence motion, saying he did so to shake up the state government "which was not discharging its constitutional duty properly".
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was present in the House when the motion was submitted, sought to support the opposition's right to do so, but maintained that the Speaker was the sole authority to decide on the matter as per rules.
Water Resources Department Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said the RJD, the main Opposition, "has no knowledge of parliamentary norms".
Chaudhary alleged that the RJD tried to make a mockery of the rules by introducing the no-confidence motion without having the required strength.
Chaudhary claimed that even Leader of Opposition Abdul Bari Siddique was not consulted by fellow RJD MLAs on the introduction of the motion.