Patna, Feb 19: In a big blow to Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, the Patna High Court Thursday ordered that eight rebel JD-U legislators, considered close to Manjhi, would not vote Feb 20 during the confidence motion in the assembly.
A bench of Justice Iqbal Ahmad barred the JD-U MLAs from voting after hearing their petition, seeking permission to vote during Manjhi's floor test Friday in the assembly.
The membership of the eight rebel Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislators was terminated last year for their anti-party activities. The court later set aside its order for four rebel JD-U legislators.
Manjhi was picked by former chief minister Nitish Kumar as his replacement when he quit last year after JD-U's rout in the Lok Sabha polls
In the 243-member assembly, the JD-U has 115 legislators -- most of whom are with Nitish Kumar. The party has the support of 24 Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) legislators, five Congress MLAs, two Independents and a CPI MLA.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 88 legislators and is supported by three Independents.