PATNA:Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) (Secular) founder Jitan Ram Manjhi on Monday warned Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan that he would not tolerate any effort to belittle and humiliate his strength.
The war of words between the Dalit leaders comes at a time of confusion over seat-sharing among the NDA partners in Bihar.
Expressing anguish over Paswan’s media statement that Manjhi was on trial in the NDA, the HAM leader referred to his long tenure as an MLA since 1980, several terms as minister and his service as the state Chief Minister for nine months. “Is this all trial period,” he asked.
”The LJP chief had miserably failed in addressing the issues of Dalits. He did not protest when Paswans were kept out of the Mahadalit category,” Manjhi claimed.
He also took the credit of including Paswan in Dalit category, when he was the Chief Minister of the state.
He asserted that no compromise could be made on 13 sitting seats.
“I don’t want to comment on what Manjhi said as I could not understand the context he was speaking in,” said LJP leader Chirag Paswan.
Reportedly, Union Minister and Bihar election incharge Ananth Kumar has advised Manjhi to show some patience.
The tussle between the two Dalit leaders has been on for the last several months. The LJP is opposing the allotment of tickets to all HAM leaders who ditched it in 2005.
‘Package a Myth’
Amid charges flying thick and fast over Centre’s Rs 1.25 lakh crore package to Bihar ahead of Assembly polls, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday once again trashed the Central aid as “packaged myth” of old schemes to influence the electorate.
Nitish expressed his hard-hitting views on the special package in a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sent on Monday. It was in response to Jaitley’s letter to Nitish dated August 28 which reached CM’s office on September 4.
“It is clear that this package for Bihar announced just before elections is nothing but well conceived packaged myth devised to influence people,” Kumar said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the media. The special package by the Prime Minister for Bihar announced at Ara on August 18 is being highlighted daily in newspapers here which makes it clear that it would find an important place in the campaign of the BJP-led NDA in the state poll.
The Chief Minister pointed to lack of hectic action in the Union Finance Ministry to raise funds for it to buttress his charge.
“Your ministry is not seen to be scrambling to find resources, as if no additional allocations are to be provided from within the Union Budget,” he said in the letter.