PATNA (TIP): After dumping ally BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar comfortably won a vote of confidence in the Bihar Assembly amid signals of a new political alignment as the Congress backed the motion. Nitish also dismissed the so-called wave in favour of Narendra Modi as one created by corporate houses.
A total of 126 votes, including four of the Congress and one of the CPI,were cast in favour of the confidence motion while 24, including 22 of Lalu Prasad-led RJD, voted against the motion as BJP members staged a walkout before the vote. Those who voted in favour of the motion included ruling JD(U)’s 117 and four Independents. The RJD’s 22 MLAs, two Independents also opposed the motion. Significantly, the Congress support for the government comes two days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Kumar as secular and indicated that his party could do business with the JD(U).
The Central Government had already enhanced development assistance to Bihar as a backward state recently, setting off speculation that the two parties could come together in future elections. In his speech in the Assembly, Kumar without taking the name of Modi said the main reason for breaking the alliance with the BJP was the elevation of the Gujarat Chief Minister in his party. He said the slogan shouting by BJP MLAs hailing Modi went to buttress JD(U)’s point, an apparent reference to the possibility of the BJP making him the PM candidate.