The inaugural session of the 17th Bihar Vidhan Sabha will be held from November 23-27. The Nitish cabinet, in its first meeting Tuesday morning, gave its nod to the five-day session.
On the first two days, all the 243 newly elected members of the Bihar Assembly will be administered the oath by the pro-tem Speaker. Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s name has been recommended for the post of pro-tem Speaker. Once approved by the Raj Bhawan, Manjhi, who won the election from Imamganj, will be administered oath by governor Phagu Chouhan.
In the 16th Vidhan Sabha, veteran Congress leader Sadanand Singh had been administered the oath as pro-tem Speaker by the then Governor and present President Ram Nath Kovind.
A pro-tem Speaker is selected from amongst the senior most members of the Assembly.
Once the Speaker of the House is elected, the pro-tem Speaker ceases to function in the same capacity. His role is confined to administering oath to members and conduct of the trust vote. Seven-term MLA Nand Kishore Yadav of the BJP is tipped to be the new Speaker.
On the third day of the session, there will be the governor’s address. The fourth day will feature discussion on the governor’s address and the government’s reply on it.
The fourth day, the Nitish government will seek a trust vote. The fifth and last day, the supplementary budget will be placed before the House.
As it is the inaugural session, it will be a joint sitting of both the Houses, featuring the members of both the Bihar Legislative Assembly as well as the Bihar Legislative Council. Bihar is one among only seven states having a bi-cameral legislature– both lower house (Assembly) and the upper house (Council).
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In the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, the session is likely to be held in the Central Hall with seating arrangement for the members
In the new Assembly, RJD is the largest party with 75 members, while the Grand Alliance has 110 seats. The NDA has 125 seats, including 74 members of the BJP. An independent candidate has also extended its support to it.
There are seven others, including five members of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
This makes the House composition quite even, with a powerful Opposition still smarting under a narrow defeat likely to make the inaugural session quite stormy.
However, passing the trust vote will be easy for the NDA due to the electoral arithmetic favouring it.
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