BJP to back Manjhi if he is removed as Bihar CM

BJP to back Manjhi if he is removed as Bihar CM

The Janata Dal-United’s (JD-U) plans to remove Jitan Ram Manjhi as Bihar chief minister suffered a serious setback on Thursday with the BJP extending unsolicited support to the Mahadalit leader.

“If Manjhi is removed or replaced, the BJP will extend its support to him and thwart Nitish’s nefarious design to stage a comeback,” senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi told Deccan Herald here on Thursday.

The BJP has 88 MLAs in the 243-member Assembly. Manjhi also enjoys the support of large number of rebel JD (U) legislators.

Since last week, an attempt has been made to replace Manjhi as a section of the JD (U) is said to be unhappy with him over his assertiveness and repositioning himself as a champion of Dalits and Mahadalits.

“Amid all these talks of replacement of the chief minister, besides the merger talks (between the JD-U and the RJD), the governance in Bihar has gone for a toss.

I would suggest to Manjhi that if he is removed by Nitish, he should straightaway go to Raj Bhawan and recommend dissolution of the Assembly while serving as a caretaker chief minister till the elections are over,” said Modi.

The Assembly elections are due in October, but an air of uncertainty looms large over the state with the Damocles’ sword hanging over the present chief minister. With the merger talks between the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the JD (U) also not making much headway, the uncertainty over continuance of Manjhi remains.

“The merger may not take place till the cold war between Nitish and Manjhi ends. Nitish will, however, have to do lot of explaining during elections about (mis)governance in the state as he has put Bihar in an ICU, and the administration has come to a grinding halt,” said Modi.

The BJP has, meanwhile, decided to aggressively woo the extremely backward castes (EBCs), who have steadfastly stood by Nitish.

The saffron party has organised a mega rally on January 23, the birth anniversary of former chief minister and a tall EBC leader late Karpoori Thakur.
DH News Service

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