The Patna High Court on Friday adjourned till Monday the hearing in two public interest litigations (PILs) challenging the formation of the new JD(U)-BJP government in the state, news agency PTI reported. The adjournment by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A K Upadhyay comes ahead of the crucial floor test that the Nitish government will go for in the Bihar Assembly.
While one PIL has been filed by RJD MLAs Saroj Yadav and Chandan Verma, the second is by Jitendra Kumar who is a member of the Samajwadi Party. The petitions state that the mandate Nitish Kumar got as the leader of the Grand Alliance in the 2015 state assembly elections was against the BJP and was for a period of five years.
Terming the formation of the new government as “unconstitutional”, the petitions also state that the RJD being the party with maximum number of seats should have been called first to form the government. However, after Nitish Kumar’s resignation from the CM’s post, the party was not given any such opportunity and Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi instead invited Nitish Kumar to form government, bypassing the constitutional provisions set in this regard, the PILs state further.
Kumar on Thursday was sworn in as the state’s chief minister for the second time in two years with Sushil Kumar Modi as his deputy. After resigning and breaking alliance with the RJD, the chief minister had stated his position had become “untenable” and that he was listening to the “voice of his conscience”.