JD-U expels Manjhi; Nitish meets Guv

JD-U expels Manjhi; Nitish meets Guv

JD-U expels Manjhi; Nitish meets Guv

Janata Dal-U (JD-U) president Sharad Yadav on Monday expelled Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi from the party.

He also suspended four other MLAs of the Manjhi camp. The action came an hour before Nitish Kumar met Governor Kesri Nath Tripathi and staked claim to form government.

Before meeting Tripathi, Nitish paraded 130 MLAs supporting him and informed the governor that all the legislators, including those from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (24), Congress (5), CPI (1) and an Independent (1), were waiting outside the Raj Bhavan gate and, if required, could be counted if he (Tripathi) had any doubts.

“I told the governor I am ready to prove my majority within 24 or 48 hours, as he may deem fit,” Nitish said after coming out of Raj Bhavan. “But I also cautioned him not to delay or dither the matter as it could lead to horse-trading.”

He was flanked by party chief Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad and Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh.

Nitish Kumar said the way Manjhi addressed the media on Sunday evening after meeting the prime minister and asserted that he would appoint two deputy chief ministers while expanding his ministry, showed that he was playing as per the script prepared by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  top brass.

Meanwhile, Manjhi, who flew from New Delhi to Patna on Monday, also met the governor and reiterated that he would not resign as “the JD-U Legislature Party meeting, which elected Nitish its leader, was unconstitutional” and that he would prove his majority on the floor of the House by February 20.

The governor, sources said, then informed Manjhi that the Nitish camp was ready to prove the majority within 24 hours. On this, Manjhi said he needed some time to prove his majority. “Besides, Manjhi asked for secret ballot during voting, which was not appreciated by the governor,” said the source.

The governor later in the evening called Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary and sought from him the minimum time needed to convene the Assembly. After the deliberations, the governor is likely to go to New Delhi before making any formal announcement.