PATNA: In a display of solidarity ahead of the trust vote lined up for February 20 for the Jitan Ram Manjhi government, JD(U) and its allies today came out together to slam Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and the BJP for the political instability in the state.
"Bihar has been pushed into turmoil and political instability due to the long rope given by the governor at the behest of BJP to Chief Minister Manjhi to seek trust vote," JD(U) state president Bashistha Narayan Singh told reporters here at a press conference.
"An unprecedented state of fiscal anarchy prevails in Bihar with the chief minister announcing one populist measure after another which have grave financial implications for the treasury," Singh said while blaming the governor for the unseemly political situation in the state.
Manjhi has been acting in an irresponsible manner by coming up with a slew of populist measures even though he knows that he will not be in power long enough to implement those schemes, Singh said while asking Tripathi to immediately direct the chief minister to stop announcing policy decisions for the time being until the trust vote was over.
With the governor having defended the February 20 deadline given to Manjhi for the trust vote and taking a dig at senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar for being 'desperate' for power, Singh charged that Tripathi was making political statements despite holding a constitutional office.
"Tripathi is speaking the language of Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi if one looks at the similarity of their views on the prevailing political situation... the governor should have refrained from making political statements given the high constitutional post that he holds," Singh said.
RJD's state unit president Ramchandra Purve flayed Manjhi for his defiance in not quitting his post after he was asked by the party to do so last week and charged that the governor was propping up his government in brazen disregard of the fact that the incumbent did not have the numbers.
Charging that Manjhi was pushing Bihar into "financial anarchy", Purve told the reporters that the number of populist schemes his government had rolled out since it was reduced to a minority would put a burden of over Rs 50,000 crore on the state's treasury.
State Congress president Ashok Kumar Chaudhary, who hails from the Dalit community, slammed Manjhi over his claims that he was being insulted by JD(U) and its allied as he hailed from the Mahadalit community and said that a person holding a constitutional post was known by his conduct and not his social background.
Chaudhary also attacked the governor, saying he had made a mockery of the Constitution and democratic practices by giving a long rope to Manjhi to seek the trust vote. He asked Raj Bhawan to direct the chief minister in policy decisions even while noting that Manjhi did not have the mandate to run the government since his party had disassociated itself from him.
CPI leader Jitendra Nath attacked Governor Tripathi and BJP for implementing "the RSS agenda'" in collusion with Manjhi and asked the latter not to barter the interests of the Mahadalit community for favour from BJP in terms of its support during the trust vote.
JD(U) state chief Singh, meanwhile, questioned Tripathi for his barb at the Nitish camp for parading 130 MLAs before the Raj Bhawan here and on the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi and said that the MLAs were presented before the constitutional authorities to put moral pressure on them to invite Nitish to form the government in Bihar.
Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, castigated the governor for first giving the opportunity to Manjhi to seek the trust vote and said that was done despite the fact that no political party was backing the beleaguered leader, who has the support of about only a dozen MLAs. He claimed that Raj Bhawan was aware of the above and was reportedly satisfied that the majority lay with Nitish.
Since the Manjhi government is not being represented as a popular political party, it will be comical that the governor would be reading out a speech prepared by a minority government on February 20 to the joint session of the two Houses on the inaugural day of the Budget Session, the JD(U) leader said.
Having been a Speaker and a constitutional lawyer, it was incumbent upon the governor to ascertain the facts of the political status of the Manjhi government before allowing it the opportunity to seek a trust vote and reading out a speech prepared by it even though it may not pass the test on the floor of the House, Singh pointed out.