After the Janata Dal-United parted ways with ally the Bharatiya Janata Party, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will seek a trust vote on Wednesday at a special session of Bihar assembly to prove his majority, which he is expected to muster without any hitch with support of independents and Congress deciding to abstain.
Kumar, in the capacity of the Leader of the House, would move a motion seeking vote of confidence, which would be put to vote, if need be, after a discussion.
Going by numbers, there is no threat to the Nitish government even without the support of BJP, its erstwhile ally of 17 years, since it has the required strength. In the 243-member House, JD-U has 118 members, including
the Speaker, the Bharatiya Janata Party 91, Rashtriya Janata Dal 22, Congress 4, Lok Janshakti Party and Communist Party of India one each and Independents 6.
The JD-U needs support of four more MLAs to reach the magic figure of 122. It has already got support of four Independents who had attended a JD-U meeting on Monday where party president Sharad Yadav was also present.
The task of the government to prove its majority on the floor of the House will be also made easy with the four-member Congress Legislature Party deciding to abstain from voting. "Though we are waiting for a direction from the central leadership, we four MLAs have come to the conclusion that we would abstain from voting," CLP Sadanand Singh told PTI.
Lone LJP member Zakir Hussain Khan has also voiced his support to Nitish in the event of voting as he does not want to be seen with "communal BJP".
Arrangements were being made in the House to seat BJP MLAs in the opposition benches after the JD-U snapped its ties with the BJP on Sunday.
After sacking 11 BJP ministers from his cabinet, Kumar had met Governor D Y Patil on Sunday and requested him to call a special session of the Assembly.
Of the two remaining Independents, Dilip Verma from Sikta in West Champaran district had gone on record saying he would side with the BJP and vote against JD-U as "the country needs Narendra Modi today".
The sixth Independent Jyoti Rashmi from Dehri in Rohtas district has still not made up her mind. Her husband and former MLA Pradeep Joshi said she would vote for the government only if it bans liquor trade.
The RJD is categorical in opposing the confidence vote. "My party will definitely vote against the Nitish Kumar government during the trust vote," RJD president Lalu Prasad told reporters.