PATNA: Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Saturday launched a new political front “Hindustani Awam Morcha” (HAM) and slammed his one-time mentor and incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for working against the poor and mahadalit sections of the society. The morcha [front] is likely to announce a the launch of a new political party on April 17, after the merger of the JD(U) and RJD.
Addressing a conclave for the pride of poor JD(U) workers “JD(U) Garib Swabhiman Karyakarta Sammelan” at Patna, Mr Manjhi formally floated the new political front to politically challenge and expose Mr Nitish Kumar, who replaced him on February 20 to become the chief minister again.
“During nine months of my regime as chief minister I was allowed to work only for 12 days from February 7-19. All the decisions taken before February 7 were of Nitish Kumar which I obeyed,” charged Mr Manjhi adding that he was removed from his post when he refused to obey Mr Kumar’s diktats.
“Even Nitish Kumar has admitted that he made mistakes by nominating me as chief minister but I say he had made blunder as it exposed his real face among the poor people,” said Mr Manjhi. He further charged that rich people always consider the poor, irrespective of their caste and community, as their “slaves”.
Mr Manjhi is likely to hold a similar conclave for poor and mahadalit sections across the country on March 3 in Delhi.
From March 16 he is scheduled to begin a tour across the state from Muzaffarpur “to expose and challenge Nitish Kumar”. Meanwhile, leaders close to Mr Manjhi told The Hindu that the group was split between support for the BJP and RJD in the Assembly polls scheduled for later this year. However, Mr Manjhi is believed to have an independent identity “making an alliance with any other party as and when the need arises” .
“Manjhi now knows his real political strength that he, riding on support of about 22 per cent dalit votes, can tilt the assembly result either way,” said a political observer.