Can Nitish Kumar survive? Bihar braces for tense floor test as MLAs assemble in Patna

In the lead up to Monday's floor test, a heated war of words has broken out between the NDA and Mahagathbandhan camps amid political jostling and duelling narratives over leaked videos of informal meetings.

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Bihar's embattled chief minister Nitish Kumar is facing a crucial floor test in the state assembly on Monday to prove his majority after a dramatic political realignment last week.

The Janata Dal United leader dumped his long-time BJP allies and joined hands with the opposition to stake claim to form government. The new multi-party grand alliance claims it has the numbers to win the vote.

JD-U MLAs shifted to Patna hotels ahead of floor test

On Sunday, MLAs from Kumar's JD(U) party and allies were shepherded to hotels near the assembly building ahead of the vote. But in a worrying sign for Kumar, three JD(U) legislators skipped a key meeting, amid fears of potential defections.

The JD(U)-led ruling coalition currently has 128 MLAs, just above the majority mark of 122 in the 243-seat assembly. The grand alliance says it has the backing of 114.

Much rests on the stance of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who has been offered the top post by the opposition bloc if he switches sides. Manjhi has so far not revealed which way his party will vote.

Monday's vote is being seen as a test of the political mastery of Nitish Kumar, who has remained Bihar chief minister for 17 years across various alliances. The BJP has accused him of betraying their trust repeatedly for power.

For now, Kumar looks to have the numbers for victory. But the coming days could see more dramatic twists in Bihar's turbulent politics as the rival camps jostle for position.