Patna | Bihar Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi has asked Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi to prove majority on floor of the House on February 20. Official sources said here today that a notification to this effect was issued by Rajbhawan late last night.
After Governor’s address of the joint session of Bihar Legislature on the opening day of Budget session on February 20, Mr Manjhi will have to prove majority in the Legislative Assembly, the sources added.
The Governor has asked Speaker of Legislative Assembly to ensure voting through secret ballot after the debate on confidence motion presented by Chief Minister Mr Manjhi, the sources said. The Governor would read speech on first day of the budget session in the House, prepared by the Manjhi Government.
Mr Manjhi and former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar are engaged in power tussle in Bihar and both the leaders are claiming to have support of majority of MLAs in state Legislative Assembly. Mr Kumar has staked claim for the formation of government with support of 131 MLAs including those of RJD, Congress and CPI. Mr Manjhi has also claimed that he is still enjoying support of majority of the MLAs and would prove it when asked for by the Governor.
The power tussle between Mr Kumar and Mr Manjhi triggered on February 7 when Mr Kumar was elected leader of JD(U) legislature party.
Mr Manjhi had described the JD(U) legislature party as illegal. The Chief Minister said that he as leader of the JD(U) legislature party, had the authority to call its meeting but the meeting in which Mr Kumar was elected its leader was called by party president Sharad Yadav. The meeting called by Mr Yadav was illegal, Mr Manjhi had pointed out and added that a meeting of JD(U) legislature party was called by him on February 20.
Bihar Governor K N Tripathi said only after studying past precedents, constitutional provisions and Supreme Court rulings that he directed Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi to seek confidence vote on February 20 after his inaugural address to the state legislature. Immediately after the address, when the Legislative Assembly sits for the day, the first item should be Manjhi introducing a proposal to seek confidence vote in his government, a Raj Bhavan secretariat release said. If needed or if the the House demands in accordance with rules, a discussion would be held on the proposal of confidence vote, it said.
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