NEW DELHI: BJP today said it will "wait and watch" and decide its strategy on the floor of the House when Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi makes the bid to prove his majority even as it blamed Nitish Kumar's "craving" for power for the current instability in the state.
BJP also accused JD(U) leader and former Chief Minister Kumar of being "hungry for power" and said he wanted Manjhi to be his "puppet". The party further claimed that Kumar stands exposed on his move to renounce power in Bihar.
"As the main opposition, BJP is keeping a close watch and will present its opinion in the Assembly. After the Governor decides, then only will BJP put forth its position on the floor of the House," said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.
Sharpening the attack on Kumar, BJP said he should adopt patience and not be in a hurry to return to power. Kumar should have faith in the Constitution and Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, who will decide on issues as per constitutional provisions, he said.
"BJP feels Kumar is responsible for the current situation in Bihar. He cannot remain out of power for long. People in Bihar are very unhappy with the events.
"There is frustration in JD(U) and that is why Kumar is so impatient about coming to power. He should have faith in the Constitution and in the Governor, before whom he is making his demands," said Hussain.
He averred that the majority has to be proved on the floor of the Assembly as per the Constitution and not on the streets. He also attacked Kumar, saying he was playing politics in the name of 'Mahadalits', the community to which Manjhi belonged.
The BJP leader said Manjhi looks confident about proving his majority while the Kumar camp was "disappointed". That was the reason why Kumar and his supporters were putting forth deadlines before the Governor, Hussain claimed.
"We haven't taken any decision yet but we are sure that Manjhi, according to his statements, is very confident and Kumar's camp looks very disappointed," he said.
Continuing his attack on Kumar, Hussain said that only yesterday had Manjhi revealed that he was asked to act as the former chief minister's puppet and, when he stopped doing that, was ousted not just from the post but also from the party.
"Kumar did politics on the Mahadalit caste of Manjhi by making him the Chief Minister, which he termed as a 'game changer' and 'master stroke'. Now he has ousted him. He has power to expel him but not remove him from Chief Ministership. Kumar is a master in breaking promises."
He further said, "Kumar cannot remain without power for long. He fought against RJD, but now he is in government with it. He got a mandate to come to power with BJP and not alone. He should explain to the public first as to why he deserted BJP and joined hands with RJD and Congress."
To a question on whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi had supported Manjhi during their meeting yesterday, he said,
"There was no political discussion during the meeting between the Prime Minister and Bihar Chief Minister. Only issues pertaining to Bihar's development were discussed."
The BJP spokesperson said Kumar had admitted after the Lok Sabha polls -- when JD(U) ended up with only two seats, that the Modi wave was a "sweeping wave".
Keeping up the tirade against Kumar, Hussain charged that he had "insulted" the chief minister's post and cared only for power. "After you said that you will leave power and became a 'tyagi', you will now have to answer to the people of Bihar," he said.
"Isn't it right that your ministers keep on insulting the office of the chief minister? Manjhi made them ministers but they kept their loyalties to Kumar. Today you say that you want to be the chief minister with the support of so many people, then why did you leave earlier?
"Kumar stands exposed and has nothing left other than his greed for power. Yesterday's press conference by Manjhi was an eye opener that he wanted the chief minister to work as a puppet... he played the 'tyagi' on one hand and was greedy for power on the other," he said.