BJP legislators were in favour of backing Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi during this week’s trust vote, a party spokesperson said on Wednesday, as the month-long political flux in the state is headed towards an endgame.
Manjhi was expelled from his party, the Janata Dal (United), after refusing to step down from the chief minister’s post to make way for former mentor Nitish Kumar. The party also suspended seven ministers loyal to him on Tuesday.en
“Though we have not yet arrived at a formal decision, the general opinion of our MLAs in the BJP legislature party meeting is in favour of supporting the Mahadalit CM on the floor of the house during the trust vote,” said Vinod Narayan Jha, chief spokesperson of BJP in Bihar.
The party high command in Delhi will take the final call on Thursday, following which there would be a meeting of the MLAs in the afternoon to formalise the stand.
Jha said the meeting would take place again on Thursday to finalise the stand and a formal announcement would be made by February 20.
Assembly speaker Uday Narain Choudhary decided that all JD (U) MLAs, including those with chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, would sit in the opposition while the CM and his ministerial colleagues would occupy the treasury benches on the day of the trust vote.
An all-party meet authorised the speaker to make the decision, as the Bharatiya Janata Party staged a walkout.
“How can JD (U) sit in both treasury and opposition sides?” asked BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav, while speaking to reporters.
The party also attacked Nitish Kumar, saying he had lost the trust of dalits by insulting Manjhi in his quest for power.
“The dalit community is feeling cheated by Nitish. They are completely disillusioned with him,” Yadav said.