Manjhi had sent a letter to the Chief Whip of JD(U), Shrawan Kumar, raising the question as to how the whip was applicable on him as an unattached member.

In his reply to Manjhi, the chief whip said, "The relation of an unattached member without party affiliation cannot be severed with the parent party and whip is applicable on an unattached member."

In his letter, Manjhi had referred to the opinion of Constitutional expert Subhas Kashyap that whip is not applicable on an unattached member.

"It is not relevant what Subhas Kashyap says. Important point is whether a member has violated whip of original party or not," the chief whip's letter to Manjhi said.

Sources in the chief whip's office said that the reply had reached Manjhi well before the confidence motion was put to vote in the Assembly on Wednesday.

The letter asked Manjhi to act according to his wisdom. "But, it is  made clear to you (Manjhi) that in accordance with the circumstance the party holds the right to initiate lawful action," the letter explained.

Barring Manjhi who has been declared an unattached member after his expulsion from JD(U), other 12 rebels fell in line and voted in favour of the motion on Wednesday to avoid loosing the membership.

On Wednesday, with all 109 JD(U) MLAs voting in support except for Manjhi, Nitish Kumar ministry had passed floor test with 140-0 margin.

RJD with 24 MLAs, Congress 5, CPI one and an Independent had sided with Kumar. BJP with 87 MLAs had staged walk out from the House.

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