No-trust notice against Speaker delays new govt’s trust vote

Published on Aug 11, 2022 09:54 PM IST

Speaker Sinha Thursday confirmed that chief minister Nitish Kumar had sent a letter asking for the House to be convened, but refused to speak on the no-confidence notice submitted against him by at least 50 MLAs of the ruling Grand Alliance (GA).

ihar Assembly speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha with BJP legislators take part in Tiranga march outside the Bihar Assembly on Thursday (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
ihar Assembly speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha with BJP legislators take part in Tiranga march outside the Bihar Assembly on Thursday (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
By, Patna

The no-confidence notice against Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha by at least 50 MLAs of the Grand Alliance has delayed the new government’s trust vote, which has been scheduled during the two-day session of the legislature beginning August 24.

Speaker Sinha Thursday confirmed that chief minister Nitish Kumar had sent a letter asking for the House to be convened, but refused to speak on the no-confidence notice submitted against him by at least 50 MLAs of the ruling Grand Alliance (GA).

“The CM has sent a letter. He has told us to convene the Assembly session. Secretary has all details. Once we get the file, we will know more. As long as I hold this post, I won’t make a statement outside,” Sinha said.

Soon after taking oath, the new cabinet comprising just two members, CM Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, at its first meeting on Wednesday, decided to call the session of the Bihar Legislature on August 24 to seek the trust vote.

Why the new government took 15 days to seek trust despite support of 164 legislators is because of the spanner thrown by Speaker Sinha, who refused to quit despite the change of government in a swift turn of events in which CM Kumar walked out of the ruling NDA and staked claim to form a new Grand Alliance government.

Sinha is a legislator from the BJP, which will now sit in the Opposition.

The leaders of the Grand Alliance (GA) promptly moved a notice for no-confidence motion against the Speaker. As per norms, it should be signed by 50 MLAs. Fulfilling the requirement, the notice was submitted to the Vidhan Sabha secretary on August 9.

Former Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary, who was also the parliamentary affairs minister in the previous government, said that as per norms, the notice could be taken up only after 14 days from the date it has been served and it would the first agenda to be taken up on the day the House convened.

“I have also got to know that the GA has served no-confidence notice. In that case, the 14-day period ends of August 23 and the session will convene on August 24. The first thing to be taken up that day will be the notice of no-confidence motion. The Speaker himself cannot preside over the House when the no-confidence motion is taken up. In his absence, Deputy Speaker will preside,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker in the Bihar Legislative Assembly is Maheshwar Hazari, a JD-U member.

Besides, given the fact that the numbers — Nitish Kumar has submitted to the Governor a letter of support from 164 MLAs — are heavily stacked in favour of the GA, the removal of the Speaker is a foregone conclusion.

A senior leader of JD-U said the Speaker or the BJP could only delay the trust vote, but could not run off the writing on the wall. “The trust vote will take time because of the procedural wrangles. Normally, one would have expected the Speaker to resign as soon as the government changed. But it is his decision,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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