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Nitish Kumar wins trust vote

By The Assam Tribune

PATNA, July 28 - Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar comfortably won today the crucial trust vote 131-108, after a vitriol-filled debate during which he defended his decision to return to the NDA fold, saying the opposition should not teach him a lesson in secularism.

The result of the floor test, held a day after he took office for the sixth time, jettisoning the RJD and embracing former ally BJP, was a foregone conclusion given the numerical superiority of the bloc supporting his government.

Four members in the 243-member house could not vote, reducing the total strength of the house during the trust vote to 239.

With the effective strength of the House reduced to 239 during voting, Bihar�s new government needed 120 votes to win the confidence vote.

Replying to the debate on the confidence vote, Kumar tore into the likes of Lalu Prasad and others who criticised him for returning to the BJP-led NDA�s fold.

�People (the opposition) should not teach me lessons in secularism. Secularism is to be practised. I cannot be with people who commit the sin of amassing property through corrupt means while hiding behind the shield of secularism,� he said.

In his brief 10-minute speech, Kumar said, �I asked him (Tejashwi) to explain his position on graft allegations against him, but he was not in a position to respond.�

He narrated events that preceded his decision to walk out of the grand alliance on July 26.

Kumar said he followed �coalition ethics� and rebutted the charge that he betrayed people�s mandate, which his detractors claimed, was for the grand alliance. �The mandate was for good work and transparency,� he said. � PTI

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