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New Bihar assembly rule for trust vote soon

The rule, expected to be incorporated in the coming budget session of the house, will define the procedure for bringing in a motion of confidence in the government of the day

patna Updated: Feb 19, 2017 15:51 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
Trust vote,New rule,Bihar assembly
The Bihar Legislative Assembly building. (HT photo)

A new rule laying down the procedure for any government in Bihar to seek a vote of confidence on the floor of the Bihar assembly, will be approved and put in place during the coming budget session of the state legislature, commencing on February 23.

Till now, the practice was to seek a trust vote by moving a motion in the house and putting it to vote.

Bihar assembly speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary confirmed the new provision defining the procedure for seeking a trust vote would be incorporated in the rules of procedure of the Vidhan Sabha, after being approved by the house during the budget session.

“Thus far, the procedure for seeking a trust had not been laid down in rules of procedure. We want to remedy this situation. The matter is under consideration of the rules committee of the state assembly and its report is expected soon,” the speaker said.

Constitutional experts, including former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash Kashyap, had been consulted on the matter in last few months, he added.

Legislature sources claimed once in place, Bihar would become the first state to have a defined procedure for a trust vote.

Trust votes in Bihar have been fairly common since minority and coalition governments come to office in the 1990s. In February 2015, Nitish Kumar faced a crucial floor test after Jitan Ram Manjhi resigned as CM and was succeeded by Kumar after a power struggle.

The new rule will come at a time when the ruling grand alliance has exhibited signs of strain among its constituents - the JD (U), RJD and the Congress, over differences on a variety of issues. For instances, in the elections for four legislative council seats, on March 9, the Congress has fielded nominees against two RJD candidates.

There is talk in political circles that the new rule was being incorporated as a safety clause to tackle any constitutional crisis for the coalition government in Bihar, arising out of differences among GA constituents..

However, assembly officials claimed the new rule was being brought in just to facilitate the smooth conduct of the house. “No other meaning should be read into the move,” said a senior officer of the assembly.

In the past one year, several amendments have been made in the rules and procedure of the state assembly including those pertaining to financial business and budget presentation.

First Published: Feb 19, 2017 15:51 IST