NEW DELHI: The JD(U) may have chosen Nitish Kumar as its leader to stake claim as Bihar Chief Minister, but their expelled party colleague and incumbent Jitan Ram Manjhi is looking at an extended battle, and would rather go down fighting. At least, that now appears to be the plan.
A day after many BJP leaders demanded that fresh polls be held in Bihar instead of letting Nitish take over as new Chief Minister, the saffron party recalibrated its strategy. The BJP on Monday demanded that Manjhi be allowed to undertake floor test in the Bihar Assembly. Manjhi did the same before state Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, claiming he has the support of 56 MLAs.
Though the numbers may not be on Manjhi’s side, even with the support of 87 BJP MLAs, going for the floor test would provide ample opportunity to the CM to state his point, and emerge as the sole leader of the close to 15-20 percent of the Mahadalit community in his state.
The BJP would like to induct Manjhi into its ranks only after proper deification among his community. Manjhi needs the support of atleast 30 MLAs, apart from the BJP to cross the half-way mark. Nitish Kumar had claimed the support of majority of MLAs and had put their strength at 130.
“The JD(U) and Nitish Kumar humiliated a Mahadalit by conspiring to remove him from the post. Manjhi is an old legislator. Its only because he did not act as remote control that Manjhi is being removed. We demand that Manjhi be allowed to undertake a floor test,” BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, adding that Manjhi was confident of getting numbers from his party.