Bihar: Nitish stakes claim, parades his MLAs before Governor

He had refused to resign from the chief minister's post.

By: Express News Service Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Updated: February 10, 2015 4:41 am
Jitan Ram Manjhi, Nitish Kumar, Narendra Modi, Bihar politics, JD(U) Jitan Ram Manjhi had earlier said at a press conference that Nitish was ‘hungry for power’.

Both Nitish Kumar and Jitan Ram Manjhi met Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Monday — Kumar to stake claim to form the government; Manjhi to seek time until February 19 to prove his majority. The chief minister also asked the Governor for a secret ballot and observers from both sides to oversee the Assembly show of strength.

The JD(U) expelled Manjhi after party lawmakers in both Houses elected Kumar as their leader.

Read Also: Manjhi camp claims support of 56 JD(U), RJD MLAs

JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and RJD president Lalu Prasad — who has backed Nitish’s return — accompanied the former chief minister to his meeting with the Governor. They told the Governor Nitish had the backing of 130 MLAs, far more than the 117 required for majority in the House.

Nitish told reporters he had complete faith in the judgment of the Governor; he added, however, that if not invited to form the government, he would parade his MLAs before the President. All 130 MLAs — belonging to the JD(U), RJD and Congress, along with an Independent — were present outside Raj Bhavan to demonstrate their support to Nitish Kumar.

“We tried to impress upon the Governor the importance of acting quickly, especially because the Governor will have to address the Assembly at the beginning of the Budget session. He should know whose government he is speaking for,” Nitish said.

He added that “from the way Jitan Ram Manjhi looked confident and spoke to the media after meeting the Prime Minister, it looked as though the BJP is trying to take advantage of the situation”.

Lalu said: “We clearly told the Governor that he should not take too much time to invite Nitish Kumar to form the government, because delays will encourage horse-trading. Nitish has a clear majority and there must be no delay.”

Nitish said senior leader Vijay Kumar Choudhary, who attended the cabinet meeting where it was decided that Manjhi should recommend dissolution of the House, had told Tripathi that only seven ministers had authorised Manjhi — whereas according to rules, dissent by two-thirds of the council of ministers makes a resolution invalid. Manjhi has not yet recommended dissolution of the Assembly.

“I wonder how he (Manjhi) has been talking about expanding his cabinet and having two deputy chief ministers. A bad atmosphere has been created by the BJP. The Governor clarified that he had not received any such proposal from Manjhi,” Nitish said.

Manjhi, who met Tripathi soon after Nitish, said: “I have requested the Governor to give me time after February 19, and to put in place a system of secret ballot and independent observers from both sides (for the show of strength).”

Narendra Singh, a minister and Manjhi loyalist, claimed the chief minister had the support of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “When we met the Prime Minister and discussed the Bihar problem, he said his blessings were with us,” Singh said. Manjhi has already said he is open to taking support from the BJP, which has 87 MLAs.

Sources in the BJP, however, told The Indian Express that they would prefer to see Manjhi “sacrifice” himself, rather than continue as chief minister. “We want Manjhi to go down fighting — making an impassioned speech in House during the floor test. An emotional Manjhi, watched by a large number of people on TV, will suit us… We would like him to play the Dalit card to the hilt before he resigns,” said a BJP leader in Delhi.

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  1. Jaswant Dey
    Feb 9, 2015 at 8:33 pm
    It was Nitish who has backbitten the BJP and people of Bihar by breaking the alliance with BJP through disregarding the Bihar people's Verdict, that was jointly won by both BJP and JDU in last embly election. He did break the alliance from BJP because of his PM ambition has been halted due to declaration of Modi as BJP prime ministerial candidate in last parliamentary election. Nitish was expecting BJP should have gone with Advani as PM candidate of BJP so that BJP could have maximum managed below 200 seat MP mark in last parliamentary election. This would have paved the way for NItish to gather another 100 MPs from third front parties so that NItish would have been opted by these third front MPS as PM of India in last election. When Modi has got its way to PM candidate of BJP and won more than 272 MPs in last election Nitish got humiliated and resigned from Chief Minister post from Bihar Govt. in order to avoid to play second fiddle to MOdi being PM of India. Nitish also thus backstabbed Bihar people by ignoring the development work he has promised to them during last Bihar embly election. Nitish had chosen Jiten Majhi as CM to play double politics to save his face from loss in last Parliament election by befooling the Bihar people by mentioning that he has sacrificed the CM post and projected Majhi as dalit CM. Actual fact was that Nitish felt mellowed/demoralized not to work as CM under MOdi as PM of India since Nitish was aimng to become PM. In this process, Nitish compromised the development work he committed to people of Bihar. Nitish backstabbed BJP by breaking alliance which has collectively won the last embly Bihar election. Now if, Jiten majhi along with group of JDU MLA and BJP form govt in Bihar it would be real aspiration of Bihar people who have voted both JDU and BJP collectively in last embly election. It would be more effctve now since BJP being in Centre can provide more funds and Modi's commitment to develop Bihar in last parliament election. Jiten majhi was really pursuing the development work in Bihar as committed by JDU and BJP together in last Bihar embly election by convincing modi to provide more funds to Bihar.. Since Nitis is back bitter and backstabber he along with his stooge of other JDU MLAS should be isolated. Nitish is further ociating with RJD and Congress who were defeated by Bihar people in last election due their corruption. Hence, Jiten majhi along with his JDU MLAS should continue to be CM along with support from BJP MLAS so that Bihar people will get more development work through help of Modi in Centre. This would really bring development in dalit and maha dalit society in Bihar.. More ever, Majhi is challenging Nitish to name other JDU MLA as CM in case Nitish is genuine as per his last commitment to develop dalit and really feel ashamed of his defeat in last parliament election.
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      Lal Singh
      Feb 9, 2015 at 8:31 pm
      It,s a dirty politics of Nitish. He was so good when started his tenure.
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        Monk
        Feb 9, 2015 at 5:34 pm
        Manhji has no right in calling Nitish power hungry as he is the one refusing to give up his chair and hobnobbing with the BJP. Nitish is paying the price for trusting a political opportunist. JDU would do well to rally around Nitish.
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          Lalu _Bhainsa
          Feb 9, 2015 at 4:38 pm
          A sinking ship of JD(U). Tug of War between Manjhi & Nitish and match referee is Lalu . Manjhi will join BJP & BJP to get Dalit votes of Bihar. Future of Nitish is powerless. Are Bhai power gia to ka huah, Lalu jeisa Dost jo Milla. Rabri Bahbi ka hat ka somosa bahut achhe latga hai !!
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          1. Rajiv Pande
            Feb 10, 2015 at 12:51 am
            Seems like Nitish had used Majhi as a puppet, thinking that he will do his bidding being a dalit. Here is an extreme solution to the caste issue - it should be made illegal to ask the last name.
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