The ruling JD-U and its ally RJD on Tuesday issued whips to their legislators to vote on Wednesday in support of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to help him prove his majority in the Bihar legislative assembly.
Janata Dal-United chief whip Sharavan Kumar, who is also the parliamentary affairs minister, said the whip was also applicable to JD-U rebels led by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.
"Any legislator found voting against the whip will loss membership of the state assembly," Sharavan told the media.
Nitish Kumar will seek a vote of confidence in the assembly on Wednesday, 17 days after he was sworn in.
The JD-U's ally Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad also issued whip to its legislators to vote for Nitish Kumar.
"The RJD has issued whip to its legislators to support Nitish Kumar to ensure that he smoothly proves his majority in the assembly," RJD legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui told the media.
Siddiqui said the RJD was behind Nitish Kumar to counter the BJP.
Manjhi on Tuesday held a closed door meeting with nearly a dozen legislators considered loyal to him to discuss the situation in view of the JD-U whip.
"We discussed this issue and will take the right decision," said former minister Brishen Patel, considered close to Manjhi.
The JD-U has the support of its allies -- the RJD, the Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI).
Nitish Kumar had resigned as chief minister last year after the JD-U's rout in the Lok Sabha polls. Manjhi, who was made chief minister in May 2014, resigned on February 20 after a political crisis.
In the 243-member assembly, the JD-U has 115 legislators. The party has the support of 24 RJD legislators, five of the Congress, two independents and a CPI member.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has 88 legislators and it is supported by three independents.
BJP legislators also met here on Tuesday to finalise the party's strategy during the over-a-month-long budget session of the Bihar assembly that begins on March 11.