Bihar crisis: As it happened on Thursday

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs on Thursday staged protest against Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary for recognising Janata Dal (United) as the main opposition party.

Bihar crisis: As it happened on Thursday

10:40 pm: Manjhi Cabinet today met for the second consecutive day and cleared a slew of proposals, including the one for it to seek a floor test in the Assembly tomorrow.
The meeting of the Cabinet was held at CM's residence this evening.

9:35 pm: To refute provocation by BJP and others, have decided to ignore speech of Governor that will be prepared by minority government, says RJD's Abdul Bari Siddiqui.

8:40 pm: 22 RJD MLA’s have come for dinner at Nitish ji's place, some 2-3 could not come, says RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui.

8:35 pm: BJP will firmly stand with Jitan Ram Manjhi, says BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain.

7:40 pm: Will support Jitan Ram Manjhi in the Assembly tomorrow, says Bihar BJP leader Sushil Modi, adding, we stand by him.

6:55 pm: Bihar BJP issues whip for its MLAs to support Jitan Ram Manjhi in tomorrow's floor test in the Bihar Assembly.

4:35 pm: Patna HC dismisses a petition by minister Vinay Bihari to keep Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary away from the trust vote.  

4:32 pm: Bihar Legislative Council accords recognition to Nitish Kumar as Leader of Opposition in the House in place of BJP's Sushil Kumar Modi, says Council Chairman Awdesh Narayan Singh.

3:55 pm: Bihar BJP Legislative Party to meet at 6 pm in Patna to take a final call on whether to support Manjhi during the trust vote tomorrow.

3:45 pm: Manjhi addresses Mahadalit 'Samman Sammelan', asks people to question JD(U) MLAs as to why they were opposing him when he always worked for the downtrodden.

3:30 pm: In a big setback to Manjhi, Patna High Court bars four rebel JD(U) MLAs from voting during floor test tomorrow.

3:00 pm: BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain slams the JD(U) and alleges that the party is misusing the office of the Speaker.

Addressing the media, Hussain accuses the Speaker of working under instructions from Nitish Kumar.

Hussain says that party leaders will meet today evening and take a final call on whether to support Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi during the trust vote tomorrow.

The BJP leader further accuses the JD(U) of insulting 'Mahadalits' by ignoring Manjhi.

2:30 pm: Asserting that CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's government has "fallen into minority", the JD(U) today charged it with "trying to survive by buying its MLAs" ahead of the confidence vote in the Legislative Assembly tomorrow.

In a hurriedly-called press conference, JD(U) state president Vashistha Narayan Singh presented party MLA from Sheohar constituency, Sharfuddin who alleged that Pappu Yadav, RJD MP from Madhepura had telephoned him offering money and a minister's post if he supports Manjhi during the floor test.

"Pappu Yadav called me on my mobile and tried to lure me into supporting Manjhi by promising all sorts of things. He said I will be given a minister's post, money and whatever I wish for if I vote in favour of Manjhi during the confidence vote," Sarfudding told reporters.

1:30 pm: Senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav says, "This is for the first time in the country that a party--JD(U)-- will sit in both treasury and opposition sides.

Talking to news agency ANI, Yadav confirmed that Bihar BJP MLAs have decided to vote in favour of Manjhi in the House, adding that the party central leadership has been informed about the latest development.

12:30 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs today staged protest against Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary for recognising Janata Dal (United) as the main opposition party.

The BJP MLAs staged protest outside Speaker’s office, accusing him of being biased. The protests came after the Speaker today recognised JD(U) as the main opposition party, while granting status of leader of opposition to Vijay Chaudhary.

The Speaker's decision came after the JD(U) had earlier demanded recognition as the main opposition party and separate sitting arrangements in the Assembly in view of the upcoming trust vote.

"Assembly Secretariat has to act according to numerical strength and since JD(U) had sought the status of main opposition, we had no reason to deny them this considering their numbers," Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary told PTI.

On Wednesday, opposition BJP in Bihar had hinted at voting in favour of embattled Manjhi during the trust vote with all its MLAs unanimously supporting such a move aimed at sending "a strong reply to Nitish Kumar for humiliating a Mahadalit".

The BJP's unanimous view emerged during a meeting of its Legislature Party at the residence of Sushil Kumar Modi here, where all party MLAs felt that the way former chief minister has 'humiliated a Mahadalit' he should be taught a lesson.

Earlier, the JD(U) had suspended seven MLAs owing allegiance to Manjhi, ahead of the February 20 trial of strength for him on the floor of the Bihar Assembly.

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