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Bihar Political Crisis: Two government formation scenarios

The Mahagathbandhan coalition in Bihar, comprising RJD, JD-U, and Congress, is on the verge of collapse as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar contemplates returning to the BJP-led NDA fold. Nitish, an eight-time Chief Minister, may submit his resignation, paving the way for a ninth term with BJP support.

Bihar Political Crisis: Two government formation scenarios
First Published Jan 28, 2024, 12:03 AM IST

The Mahagathbandhan comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United, and the Congress in Bihar appears to be on the brink of collapse, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reportedly considering a return to the BJP-led NDA fold. Reliable sources suggest that Nitish Kumar, who has served as Bihar's chief minister eight times, may submit his resignation by Sunday morning, paving the way for his ninth term with BJP support.

Bihar Assembly Seat Distribution

As of now, the BJP-led NDA holds 82 seats in the 243-member assembly. Among these, the BJP accounts for 78 seats, and Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM holds 4 seats. On the other side, the ruling Mahagathbandhan, consisting of the RJD, JD-U, and Congress, collectively holds 160 seats in the assembly.

Breakdown of Mahagathbandhan Seats

Lalu Prasad's RJD is the major constituent with 79 MLAs, followed by JD-U with 45, and Congress with 19. The remaining 17 MLAs are from other smaller constituents, including the Left parties.

Potential Scenarios in Bihar

Nitish Kumar Joins BJP: If Nitish Kumar aligns with the BJP, the NDA would easily have the required majority to form a new government. The combined NDA numbers would increase to 127, surpassing the majority mark of 122.

RJD Stakes Claim: Should the RJD stake a claim after Nitish's departure, it would need to demonstrate its strength in the assembly. Without the JD-U, the Grand Alliance would have 115 members, falling eight short of the majority mark. Even with potential support from AIMIM, which has one MLA, the alliance would still lack the necessary numbers.

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