JD(U) will parade all 130 MLAs before President tomorrow, says Nitish

Patna(PTI): Aiming to put pressure on Bihar Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi for inviting him to form the next government in the state, former chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that his party will parade all 130 legislators who support him before the President in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday.

Bihar crisis: JD(U) will parade all 130 MLAs before President tomorrow, says Nitish

“I, along with legislators, will go to Delhi by Tuesday evening flight to meet President (Pranab Mukherjee) after we did not receive any invitation from the Governor 24 hours after staking claim to form the next government,” Nitish Kumar told reporters here.

Nitish Kumar said he will parade his supporter legislators before the President. “I have requested the President to give us time to meet him on February 11.”

On Monday, Nitish Kumar, along with 130 legislators of his Janata Dal-United (JD-U), the Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD), the Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI), went to Bihar Raj Bhavan to show his strength.

The move was to stake claim to forming the next government in the state after meeting Governor Tripathi. Nitish Kumar later said they would wait for the Governor’s decision to invite him to take oath and form the next government.

The former chief minister, however, warned that if the Governor failed to invite him soon, his party would parade their supporting legislators before the President in Delhi.

The development came shortly after it was reported that Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi had called a cabinet meeting this evening, throwing indications that he nay recommend dissolution of the state assembly.

“Manjhi has called a meeting of his cabinet at 4 pm today. Though the agenda is not known, he may take some big decisions, including recommending dissolution of the state assembly,” an official in the chief minister office said.

Despite being expelled from the Janata Dal (U), Manjhi has refused to quit and insists that he remains chief minister till he fails to prove his majority in the state assembly. A Janata Dal-United leader close to Manjhi, however, said he “may or may not recommend dissolution of the state assembly, but by holding a cabinet meeting, he wanted to send a strong massage that he is still a chief minister”.

Manjhi, hand-picked by then chief minister Nitish Kumar as his replacement when he quit last year after the JD-U’s rout in the Lok Sabha polls, also met the Governor yesterday and sought to prove his majority in the assembly but by “secret ballot”.

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.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 88 legislators and is supported by three Independents.