PATNA: In a surprise move, former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today resigned as the member of Bihar legislative assembly, according to his close aide Danish Rizwan.
Manjhi met the legislative assembly acting secretary Hare Ram Mukhiya earlier in the day and put in his resignation letter to him, Rizwan told PTI. Mukhiya too confirmed the development saying that the former chief minister met him in his office and submitted a letter quitting his membership of the legislative assembly with immediate effect.
The notification with regard to Manjhi's resignation from the legislative assembly will be issued in due course of time, the legislative assembly acting secretary said. A sixth-term MLA, the 70-year-old former chief minister represented Makhdumpur (SC) seat in Jehanabad district on JD(U) ticket. Handpicked by the incumbent chief minister Nitish Kumar as his successor post-debacle in the general elections last year, Manjhi fell out with his predecessor after being asked to quit earlier this year by the JD(U) leadership.
The former chief minister quit office on February 20 exactly nine months after taking oath to the Chief Minister's post on May 20 last year and subsequently formed another political party - Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Secular - along with other disgruntled leaders of the JD(U).
Manjhi has since joined the the BJP-led NDA. The former chief minister was expelled from the party in the wake of his refusal to quit the Chief Minister's post initially and was promptly declared as an unattached member of the house by Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary. He, however, did not attend any state legislative assembly sittings during budget and monsoon sessions this year apparently to stave off embarrassment as he was required to sit on the treasury benches and comply with whip of the ruling party.
Explaining the reason behind Manjhi's resignation from the state legislative assembly seat, Rizwan, who is the spokesperson of HAM (Secular), said that the former chief minister was required to sever all his association with the ruling party to pave way for being elected as his party's president.