PATNA: Former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has hinted at his Chief Ministerial aspirations as the state braces up for the Assembly elections in 2015.
While addressing a function organised to mark the birth anniversary of former President V V Giri on Friday, Nitish said he was not “running away from the responsibility”, indicating that he was still in the race for the post of CM.
It could also be taken as a strong assertion of his candidature for the top post in the 2015 Assembly polls. The JD(U) leader also held the administration responsible for the stampede at Gandhi Maidan on the occasion of Ravan Dahan and called the Bhojpur gangrape incident shameful. This was an unusual political gesture when the govt was being headed by his handpicked CM Jitan Ram Manjhi.
Even Manjhi was ill-treated. To the surprise of many, the CM was not invited for a recent meeting of the party office bearers. Was it because Manjhi hasn’t got any role in the party’s strategy making, or was Nitish deliberately avoiding him to give a clear message to the party’s rank and file that Manjhi was not a political identity is to be taken seriously.
Political observers feel that if Nitish was not panicky, at least he was alarmed by Manjhi, who recently tried his best to assert and send out a message that he was not at all a rubber stamp CM. The transfer of officials and action against doctors, said to be close to Nitish, by Manjhi after the October 3 stampede, came as a big surprise as hardly anyone expected the CM to go tough.
If Nitish could not take any action after the Chhath incident or serial blasts in Patna and Bodh Gaya, and Kosi flood, nobody ever expected Manjhi to do so, but the latter even went ahead and took moral responsibility of the incident. It is, however, quite clear that Nitish would return as the party’s CM candidate for the 2015 Assembly election.