Modi govt encouraging horse-trading of MLAs in Bihar: Nitish Kumar

Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar, who will present over 130 MLAs before President Pranab Mukherjee this evening to show that he enjoys majority support in the Bihar Assembly, accused the Modi government of encouraging "horse-trading" of MLAs in the state and alleged collusion by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2015, 14:41 PM IST
Modi govt encouraging horse-trading of MLAs in Bihar: Nitish Kumar

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee will on Wednesday take a call on meeting Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar, who is planning to parade 130 supporting MLAs before him.

Sources in the Rashtrapati Bhavan said the President will decide today on the plea of Kumar who wants to present supporting MLAs before the President to press a point that he has a majority in the Bihar Assembly.

Kumar, meanwhile, accused the Modi government of encouraging "horse-trading" of MLAs in the state and alleged collusion by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.

The former Bihar CM, who has been elected the JD(U) Legislature Party Leader in place of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, said it was obvious that a majority of MLAs supported him and alleged that the delay by the Governor in taking a decision was to hamper the formation of a new government.

Kumar arrived here from Patna last evening, along with the MLAs supporting him, in two commercial flights.

He is scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee at 7 pm, accompanied with party president Sharad Yadav, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

"The way a decision is being delayed is a clear indication that purchasing of MLAs is being done at the behest of the Centre. Intention is clear and this is to not allow formation of the majority government. We will tell the President that this will only encourage horse-trading," he told reporters.

Kumar said his party and allies will impress upon the President on the need to take a quick action in the matter. Delaying the matter is only adding to the uncertainty and vitiating the political atmosphere in Bihar, he said.

Kumar had staked claim before Tripathi on February 9 to form a government even though incumbent Manjhi, who has been sacked from the party, insisted that he too enjoyed support of a majority of MLAs.

Whatever is happening in the state is against democratic and constitutional norms, he said.

Kumar is in Delhi with 130 supporting MLAs of his party, RJD, Congress, one CPI and an Independent to parade them before the President.

Kumar had earlier said that in case the Governor gives a chance to Manjhi for floor test, JD(U), which has support of 99 out of 111 MLAs, will sit in Opposition on that particular day of special session for confidence vote.

In the 243-member Assembly, the JD-U has 115 legislators -- most of whom are reportedly with Nitish Kumar. It is backed by 24 legislators of the RJD, five of the Congress, two independents and one from the CPI.

(With Agency inputs)