PATNA: Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today stoked a controversy by alleging that Bihar Niwas in New Delhi was washed with 'Ganga jal (water)' after his visit so that his successor Nitish Kumar could stay there.
"I went to Bihar Niwas and found out that it was being washed with Ganga jal as I had stayed there earlier. How could Kumar stay at such a place where others have stayed? He is of such kind of mentality," Manjhi said, speaking at the launch of the Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM).
The former chief minister said he did not take the floor test to prove his majority in the Assembly because he did not want to jeopardise the life and career of MLAs who were "weak and poor".
He also called for a probe into the origin of money that was spend to take JD(U) MLAs to Delhi and keep them at a five-star resort.
"Kumar accused me of indulging in horse-trading, but actually it was he who indulged in it by spending large amount of money on airfares and hotel bills," he said.
Reacting to reports of his ties with BJP, Manjhi said, "I met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss a canal from Ganga near Chunar in Uttar Pradesh to southern districts of Bihar, it was touted as my crossing over to BJP. But when Kumar shakes hands with Modi then nothing is said."
On the developments that led to his resignation from the chief minister's post on February 20, Manjhi said, "I had repeatedly said if Nitish Kumar told me that I had been doing anything wrong, I would immediately step down. But, he never said anything and instigated his supporters to say nasty things about me."
"When they (junior ministers and leaders) were abusing and advising me, Kumar never said a word to them. Had he even had a bit of sympathy towards me, he would have said something to them or stopped them. He kept quiet so all these things happened," Manjhi added.
The former Bihar Chief Minister recounted the schemes he had initiated like free electricity to farmers having up to five acres of land, free education for SC, ST and girls till postgraduation, 35 per cent reservation to women in government jobs, creating a 'Safai Aayog' (Hygiene Commission), including Dusadh in 'Mahadalit' caste category, providing five decimal land to the homeless at market rates.
"All these I did in just 12 days from February 7 to 19. Before it I was a rubber stamp Chief Minister saying 'yes sir', while three months were spent in wrangling. I wish I had got three months more to work. I would have shown everybody what I could have done," Manjhi said.
"Kumar is now saying that he will review all the schemes brought by me. I ask him to do it quickly so that people can understand his intentions," he said.
Manjhi claimed that Kumar chose him as he hailed from a Scheduled Caste thinking that "I will be a mask and he will rule from behind. This reflects his feudal mindset." The former chief minister also claimed that he had hit out at organised loot and commission prevalent in various infrastructure schemes in the state, the powerful lobby with vested interests in such projects, engineered his removal.
He alleged a scam is in the making and estimated costs of infrastructure projects have been inflated five to 10 times, and 10 per cent of all schemes were given as 'contractor benefits'.