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Party Expels Bihar CM, Demands Trust Vote
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Bihar's Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi was on Monday expelled by the JD(U) for "indiscipline" and the party demanded that Governor Kesri Nath Tripathi ask him to take a trial of strength in the state assembly within 48 hours.
Party President Sharad Yadav ordered Manjhi's expulsion for "indulging in anti-party activities" ahead of Nitish Kumar's meeting with the governor to stake claim to form a new government.
"Party President Sharad Yadav has expelled Manjhi from primary membership of JD(U) for indiscipline. Article 3 of the JD(U) Constitution gives this special power to the party President under which he can appoint or expel anybody," party general secretary K.C. Tyagi said at a press conference in Delhi.
Calling Manjhi a "betrayer", Yadav said he was left with no other option.
"He made comments that amounted to gross indiscipline against the party president. There was no way left other than to expel him from the party," Tyagi said releasing the expulsion letter.
Responding to questions, Tyagi said that Manjhi is now "neither a leader of the JD(U) legislative party nor a member of the party."
Accusing the BJP of trying to create a "constitutional crisis" in Bihar, Tyagi said the JD(U) "requests the Bihar governor to hold a trial of strength in the state Assembly within 48 hours."
Manjhi was part of Nitish Kumar government in 2005 as well as in 2010 before taking the mantle from him on May 19 last year after Kumar had resigned following a crushing defeat to his party by the Narendra Modi-led BJP in Lok Sabha polls.
Manjhi, who has rebelled and is all prepared for a final showdown with mentor Nitish Kumar, has arrived in Patna from New Delhi.
The power struggle in Bihar JD(U) escalated as Manjhi ruled out his resignation before a trial of strength in the Assembly.
The JD(U) on Sunday submitted letters of support from the RJD, Congress, CPI and an independent MLA to the Governor claiming that Nitish had the backing of 130 MLAs in a 243-member House.
Meanwhile, the BJP on Monday virtually put its weight behind Manjhi saying he looks confident of proving his majority.
The BJP also said that the majority has to be proved on the floor of the Assembly and not in any party's office as it accused Nitish of being "hungry for power".
"We haven't taken any decision yet but we are sure that Jitan Ram Manjhi who is the Chief Minister, according to his statements, is very confident and Nitish Numar's pavilion looks very disappointed," BJP Spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
The JD(U) has 111 MLAs, BJP 87, RJD 24, and the Congress 5, besides 5 independents, while 10seats are vacant. With the present effective strength of the assembly at 233, the magic figure is 117.