Manjhi's flop show worries saffron party

Manjhi's flop show worries saffron party

Jitan Ram Manjhi’s first show of strength after demitting the office of the chief minister turned out be a damp squib on Monday when he undertook a fast at the Mahatma Gandhi statue here.

The hunger strike was organised as a symbolic protest against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to annul 34 measures initiated by the Manjhi Cabinet in February.

The agitation not only proved to be a flop show, but fissures within his camp also came to the fore when former minister Narendra Singh took strong exception to the presence of Sadhu Yadav, the controversial leader and estranged brother-in-law of Lalu Prasad, at the site where the fast was observed.

“It will send a wrong message if people with shady past share the stage/dais with us during satyagrah or hunger strike,” argued Singh, mincing no words in slamming the former RJD MP, who reportedly symbolised the “reign of terror” during Lalu-Rabri era.

The internal bickering as well as the presence of controversial elements within the Hindustan Awam Morcha, a political outfit floated by Manjhi, has worried the BJP too.

The saffron camp, which has so far been a silent sympathiser of the former chief minister, was planning to prop up Manjhi and paint Nitish as anti-Dalit, but with people like Sadhu Yadav sharing stage with Manjhi, the party is caught in a dilemma.

 “How can we convince our voters to establish a rule of law in Bihar if we too are seen on the same page with leaders like Sadhu,” a BJP legislator from central Bihar told Deccan Herald.

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