BJP walks out of assembly, to sit in opposition

Patna, June 19 (IANS) The BJP walked out of the Bihar assembly Wednesday before Chief Minister Nitish Kumar could prove his majority in the house after dumping his former ally.

The Bharatiya Janata Party announced that its legislators would not take part in the trust vote.

"Our legislators have walked out," BJP legislative party leader Nand Kishore Yadav, the new leader of the opposition, told the media.

He accused Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal-United of "betrayal" for ending its alliance with the BJP. He said his party would occupy the opposition benches.

"After sharing power with the JD-U for over seven-and-a-half years, we will sit in the opposition," Bihar BJP president Mangal Pandey said.

BJP legislators have elected Yadav as leader of the opposition in the assembly and outgoing Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi as leader of opposition in the legislative council.

Nitish Kumar called off the alliance with the BJP and his colleague Sharad Yadav quit as convenor of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance following differences with the BJP over the growing clout of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Nitish Kumar is confident of proving his majority in the assembly despite the loss of BJP's support.

Four of the six independent legislators have announced their support to Nitish Kumar. The sole LJP legislator, Zakir Hussain Khan, has also given his support to the government.

The JD-U has 118 legislators and needs the support of four more members in the assembly.