Nitish Kumar Ready to Lead Bihar Again

nitishNEW DELHI : In a late night mutiny, Jitan Singh Manjhi has declared “illegal” a meeting called by his party chief Sharad Yadav, amid buzz that he will be replaced as Chief Minister of Bihar.
Janata Dal United president Sharad Yadav has called a meeting of party legislators on Saturday. Mr Manjhi said on Thursday that only the Chief Minister, as the leader of the legislature party, has the authority to call such a meeting.
With elections due in Bihar later this year, party leaders are said to agree that Mr Manjhi, who has been Chief Minister for the last nine months, must now step down so that his predecessor Nitish Kumar can take over again and lead the party in the run-up to the crucial polls.
In his short tenure, Mr Manjhi has scripted multiple controversies and embarrassments for the party. Sources said all efforts by Mr Yadav in the last few days to convince Mr Manjhi to step down have come to naught.
In May last year, one day after national election results delivered a stinging blow to the JD(U) in Bihar, Nitish Kumar had resigned. He owned responsibility for his party getting only two of Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha seats in an election that saw partner-turned-rival BJP win with 31 seats along with its allies.
Mr Kumar handpicked Mr Manjhi to take his place, in an arrangement that seemed to suggest that it would be a matter of time before Mr Kumar would be back to lead the party. Mr Manjhi though seems to have had other plans.
He has repeatedly highlighted the fact that he is a Mahadalit, one of the poorest and most underprivileged castes in Bihar, and has recently earned the vocal support of Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party, who is also a minister in the BJP-led government at the Centre.
Mr Paswan has said he will ensure “Mr Manjhi’s government is not destabilised.”Mr Manjhi has seemed to warn his party that he is not averse to a new affiliation by praising several top BJP leaders, including Prime MInister Narendra Modi – once seen as Nitish Kumar’s arch political rival.
JD(U) ally Lalu Yadav’s RJD has reportedly said it will back its decision on a new Chief Minister.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *