A heavy security cordon surrounded the residence of the former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav’s residence in Patna on Sunday night – where Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLAs are staying – a day before the crucial floor test of the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in the state. The police deployment comes hours after the family members of one of the RJD MLAs, Chetan Yadav, claimed that he had been “kidnapped” by the Lalu Prasad Yadav’s party.
In a video posted by news agency ANI, several police personnel can be seen walking towards Tejashwi Yadav’s residence and condoning the area.
Reacting to the development, the RJD in an official statement on X (formerly known as Twitter) hit out at Nitish Kumar, saying the Bihar chief minister sent the police force as he “fears the fall of the government”. Alleging that the security force wants to enter Tejashwi Yadav’s residence and do “untoward incidents” with the MLAs, the party said, “People of Bihar are watching the misdeeds of Nitish Kumar and the police.”
“Remember, we are not among those who fear and bow down. This is a struggle of ideology and we will fight it and win because the justice-loving people of Bihar will oppose this police repression. Jai Bihar! Jai Hind,” the RJD wrote.
RJD spokesperson Shakti Singh Yadav asserted that such deployment of police force ahead of a floor test has “never happened in any state in independent India”.
“It’s a legislature’s meeting…Agar BJP kare (meeting) to ‘raasleela’, agar RJD kare to ‘character dheela’ (If BJP holds a meeting before floor test then it is rasleela, but if RJD does it then their character is poor),” the RJD leader told news agency ANI.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain hit out at Tejashwi Yadav over RJD MLA’s family’s ‘kidnapping’ claims, saying, if he keeps any MLA “tied up in the house then the police will definitely take action.”
“The police are only doing their job… The RJD and Congress are only spreading confusion. The JD(U) and the BJP will together prove majority on the Assembly floor. No one (MLAs) is out of reach and everyone is in touch with us. The opposition is spreading canards. All NDA MLAs are together. They should stop worrying about our MLAs and focus on their missing legislators,” he said.
Crucial floor test in Bihar assembly today
A crucial floor test will be held in the Bihar assembly on Monday, days after Nitish Kumar dumped the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in the state and formed a new government with the NDA. He took oath for a record ninth time on January 28.
Ahead of the trust vote, the ruling Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) shifted its MLAs to the Chanakya Hotel in Patna on Monday morning.
Bihar assembly numbers
Presently, the ruling NDA alliance in Bihar has a total of 128 MLAs in the 243-member assembly – 45 from JD(U), 79 from BJP and Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) coalition, and another independent MLA. Meanwhile, the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ has a total of 115 MLAs. Notably, a party or a coalition needs the majority mark of 122 MLAs in the House to form a government.