Opposition RJD on Thursday announced support to the new JD(U) government in Bihar headed by Jitan Ram Manjhi.
The announcement was made by RJD legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui in Patna and has come as a boost for the new ministry ahead of the trust vote on Friday.
Manjhi, who has been nominated by Nitish Kumar after he resigned following the JD(U) debacle in the state in the Lok Sabha polls, has called a special session of the Assembly on Friday to seek the trust vote.
"Though our (RJD) support will not decide the survival of the new JD(U) government which already enjoys majority, we decided to extend support as he hails from mahadalit community," Siddiqui said.
"RJD has been championing the cause of social justice and so we decided to extend our cooperation to the new CM hailing from mahadalit community," he said.
The support is also to "defeat the communal forces represented by BJP and RSS", Siddiqui said.
RJD's support was, however, only 'for now', he said, adding, "We will decide about our support to him (Manjhi) on the basis of 'gun-dosh' (merit and demerit)." RJD has 21 members in the Bihar Assembly whose effective strength at present is 237. JD(U) has 117 members including the Speaker and opposition BJP has an effective strength of 88.
Congress with four MLAs, CPI with one and the two Independents have already given their letters of support to the Manjhi government.
RJD's announcement of support to the JD (U) ministry gives rise to speculation of realignment of parties opposed to BJP in Bihar in the wake of the saffron party's electoral success in the recent parliamentary polls.
The effective strength of the Bihar Assembly is 237 following resignation of 6 members - 3 from RJD, 2 from BJP and one from JD(U). JD(U)'s Chhedi Paswan had given up the Mohania seat and joined BJP before the Lok Sabha polls to contest from the Sasaram Lok Sabha seat against the then Speaker Meira Kumar, which he won.
Out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, BJP won 22 seats on its own, while its allies LJP won six and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party of Upendra Kushwaha three seats.
RJD has bagged four seats, Congress and JD(U) two each and NCP which went with RJD has won one.