Claiming that no political party has come forward to endorse the Jitan Ram Manjhi government and it has a support of “just” 12 MLAs, senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar on Thursday asked “Whose baby is the Manjhi government.”
“I want to know which political party is backing the Manjhi government as even the BJP has not come forward to support it publicly,” a visibly exasperated Kumar said at a press conference at his official residence.
“There are five major political parties in Bihar…four of them are with us, nobody is backing the Manjhi government at the moment. I want to know whose government it is?” he asked.
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The senior JD(U) leader also hit out at Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and alleged he had given “a long rope to Manjhi at the behest of the BJP and the Centre”.
This was done to indulge in horsetrading to survive trust vote in the house on February 20 next, Kumar reiterated.
Kumar said the staggering number of 130 MLAs with him, who were paraded at the Raj Bhawan here and in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi, should have been taken into account to give an opportunity to him to form the government.
However, the Governor decided to delay for a long time the process of trust vote apparently to enable Manjhi muster numbers to ensure survival of his ‘partyless’ government, Kumar added.
Kumar, who had handpicked Manjhi as his successor after quitting the chief minister’s post owning moral responsibility for his party’s debacle in the general elections last year, scotched the notion that he had chosen the latter keeping into account his mahadalit background.
He had chosen Manjhi as his successor merely because he was a colleague, Kumar claimed.
“Frankly speaking, I had not selected Manjhi for the Chief Minister’s post in view of his Mahadalit background, but did so merely because he happened to be a colleague in my government,” Kumar said.
Acknowledging that Manjhi’s defiance turned out to be a setback for him, the former chief minister accused his successor of ditching him.
“It’s a setback to me in the context that a person whom I trusted has ditched me,” he said candidly.
The senior JD(U) leader slammed the BJP and the Centre of denying a legitimate coalition comprising the JD(U), RJD, Congress, CPI and an Independent MLA to form the government and said that the BJP was shivering at the very prospect at his (Kumar) coming to power again.
“The BJP is frightened with the prospect that I will make come back to power again,” he said and warned the saffron party it will face similar consequences as in Delhi for stalling a democratic and constitutional process for formation of a legitimate government.
“You are desperate for power directly or indirectly in Bihar, but you will face similar rout in Bihar that you have suffered in Delhi,” Kumar reiterated.