Updated: February 18, 2015 9:57:29 am
JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar paraded his MLAs before the Governor in Patna and before the President in Delhi, his camp has now resorted to “dinner diplomacy”.
Nitish, who has been selected JD(U) legislature party leader, claims the support of 130 MLAs as Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi faces a floor test on February 20.
Four top JD(U) leaders have hosted dinners since February 7 — the day Nitish Kumar was chosen leader of the legislature party. It first started with former parliamentary affairs minister Shravan Kumar hosting a dinner for party MLAs. Kumar, who has been appointed chief whip from the Nitish camp, has been entrusted with task of staying in regular touch with party legislators.
Two party MLAs Manjeet Singh and Lesi Singh and party MLC Sanjay Singh also followed up with dinners for legislators over the last week. JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav too hosted legislators from JD(U), RJD, Congress and CPI at his New Delhi residence.
JD(U) MLC Vijay Singh is hosting party MLAs on Tuesday, to be followed by dinner at former minister Bijay Kumar Choudhary’s residence on Wednesday. The “dinner diplomacy” will culminate with Nitish Kumar hosting dinner for all 130 MLAs on Thursday, a day before the trust vote.
Party sources said that with Manjhi loyalists trying to woo MLAs, “dinner diplomacy” has been the best way to get updates and “see all of them at one place to reinstate their faith in Nitish”. The Manjhi camp has been pressing for “secret ballot to lure Nitish MLAs”.
Meanwhile, the BJP will also host a dinner for its MLAs in the next couple of days to chalk out their strategy.
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