Nitish Kumar set for another U-turn? How numbers stack up in Bihar

NEW DELHI: The RJD-JD(U)-Congress Grand Alliance in Bihar is on the verge of falling apart amid reports that chief minister Nitish Kumar is set to return to the BJP-led NDA fold.
Sources have indicated that Nitish, who is the 8-time chief minister of Bihar, could tender his resignation by Sunday morning and take oath for a record 9th time with BJP‘s support.
Here’s how the numbers stack up in Bihar:
The ruling Mahagathbandhan in Bihar together makes up 160 seats in the 243-member assembly.
Lalu Prasad’s RJD is the senior ally with 79 MLAs, followed by JD(U) [45] and Congress [19].
The other constituents, including the Left, account for the remaining 17 MLAs.
Meanwhile, the BJP-led NDA has 82 seats in the assembly. Out of these, BJP has 78 seats while Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM has 4.
What if …
Nitish joins hands with BJP: In this scenario, a new government can easily be formed since a BJP-JD(U) alliance will have the requisite numbers in the assembly. The NDA numbers would go up to 127 from 82, which is above the majority mark of 122.
RJD stakes claim to form government: In case RJD, which was the single largest party after the 2020 elections, stakes claim after Nitish’s exit, it will have to prove its strength in the assembly. Without JD(U), the Grand Alliance will have 115 members in the assembly, which is 8 short of the majority mark. Even if AIMIM, which has one MLA in the assembly, extends support to the alliance, it will still findself short of the required numbers.

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