7:27 pm - Friday November 20, 2015

Bihar Governor’s address to Assembly cancelled: Speaker

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 Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi’s address to the joint session of Bihar Legislature was today cancelled due to the “special circumstances” arising in the wake of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s resignation.

“I have received a letter from Principal Secretary of Governor Brajesh Mehrotra that due to ‘special circumstances’ the Governor will not be able to address joint session of Bihar Legislature on start of the Budget session,” Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary announced in the Assembly.

The Governor was to address the joint session of Bihar Legislature after which Manjhi was to seek the trust vote.

After making the announcement at 11:45 a.m., the Speaker adjourned the House till 12:30 p.m.

11: 40 a.m.: Jitan Ram Manjhi addresses press conference, claims “his Ministers and MLAs received death threats ahead of the trust vote”.

IANS adds: Manjhi said that he did not get respect as CM. “I have submitted my resignation letter to the Governor. I should have quit before,” said Manjhi soon after he met Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi in Patna.

He claimed that he as well as some legislators had received threats to their lives.

11:16 a.m.: Suspense if Governor would deliver his speech to the joint session listed at 11:30 a.m. “You will come to know about it later,” Raj Bhawan PRO S.K. Pathak says.

11:15 a.m.: JD(U) legislature party leader Nitish Kumar says Manjhi’s resignation has vindicated his plea to the Governor that not much time be given for the trust vote, reports PTI. “Our stand has been vindicated,” he told reporters at the Assembly premises. “Everything is happening after 14 days, that also surprisingly,” Kumar said adding, “the BJP game plan has been exposed”.

10.49 a.m.: Jitan Ram Manjhi to address media at his residence at 11:30 a.m., reports PTI

10:46 a.m.: Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has resigned, says Brajesh Mehrotra, Principal Secretary to Bihar Governor. –

10.24 a.m.: CM Jitan Ram Manjhi pays a visit to the Raj Bhawan before start of joint session of Bihar Legislature, reports PTI

10:23 a.m.: Shrawan Kumar says pro-Nitish JD(U), RJD, Congress, CPI legislators and the Independent MLA will enter Assembly during the trust vote, reports PTI

10:13 a.m.: JD(U) Chief Whip Sharawan Kumar: JD(U), RJD, Cong, CPI legislators and one Independent supporting Nitish Kumar to boycott Governor’s inaugural speech in Assembly, reports PTI.

Amid claims and counter claims for a majority, both the Jitan Ram Manjhi government and his mentor-turned-rival Nitish Kumar camp of JD(U) will go for the crucial floor test on Friday.

As things stood on Thursday night, Mr. Manjhi had the backing of eight MLAs – four others have been debarred – and of 87 BJP MLAs. On the other side, Mr. Nitish Kumar has the backing of 128 MLAs.

The Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi is scheduled to reach the State assembly at 11 am to address the joint session of the state legislature following which Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi would give his budget speech.

After several rounds of dinner diplomacy, luncheon party and high tea thrown largely by the Nitish-led JD(U) camp on Thursday, speculations are rife that Mr. Manjhi will still fall short of support.

The buzz is that Mr. Manjhi may not go for the floor test and that he would step down from his post after giving an emotional speech about the development works his government has done for the welfare of the poor and mahadalit section of the society during his short tenure.

His predecessor Nitish Kumar who apparently pulled all strings to replace Mr. Manjhi again from his post, too had opted for a similar move in March 2000 when he fell short of majority for the trust vote of his government. He had given an emotional speech on the floor of the house and then moved straight to Raj Bhavan to resign.

It is also said that whatever political score Mr. Manjhi has to set, he already has set it by emerging as a mahadalit leader of the Bihar’s political spectrum and now has nothing to loose.

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