The new Jitan Ram Manjhi government on Tuesday decided to call a special session of Bihar Assembly on May 23 to seek the trust vote on the floor of the House. The decision to call the special session of the Assembly at 11 AM on May 23 (Friday) to seek trust vote was taken at the first meeting of the state Cabinet under new Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Principal Secretary Cabinet Coordination Brajesh Mahrotra said.
The vote of confidence would not be a problem for the Manjhi government as in the 237-member Assembly, JD(U) enjoys the support of 117 MLAs including the Speaker, two Independents and one from the CPI.
The four-member Congress has given a letter of support for Manjhi government taking the tally to 124. BJP, on the other hand has a strength of 88, while RJD has 21 Legislators. Meanwhile, the new CM who has inherited the entire Cabinet of Nitish Kumar besides inducting two Independents, has kept all the departments which were with the former chief minister.
However, he has added the SC & ST department which he was holding in Kumar’s Cabinet. In fact, the departments of other ministers have also not been changed. The two Independents — Dulal Chand Goswami and Binay Bihari — were inducted into the Cabinet and were given the Labour Resources and Art, Culture and Youth Affairs departments respectively, Mahrotra said.
Manjhi said that his priority would be to complete the development work started by the party government under Kumar. All the ministers after taking oath shook hands with Kumar first. Kumar seated in between Manjhi and state JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh congratulated the ministers.
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Kumar refused to entertain a question by mediapersons whether he demitted office to avoid sending a congratulatory message to Modi. He had resigned from the chief ministership two days ago taking moral responsibility for the JD(U)’s poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections winning a meagre two of the 40 seats as against 20 it had won five years ago.
“Remote se nahin direct chalegi nai sarkar … Jitan Ram Manjhi sarkar apne vivek se kam karegi (the new government will run directly on its own wisdom and not through remote control),” Kumar said.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had described Manjhi as Kumar’s ‘kathputli’ (puppet). Kumar said he was feeling relaxed as the people and party workers ultimately respected his sentiment to resign owning moral responsibility for the drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls. The Manjhi government would have a tenure of 18 months till November next year when the term of the present Assembly ended.