New Delhi, 12 July-2014, Kamna Arora/Zee Media Bureau: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Saturday…
PATNA(PTI): Beleaguered Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi in the evening on Sunday with the two expected to discuss the political situation in the state where an overwhelming majority of ruling JD(U) MLAs on Saturday chose Nitish Kumar as their party leader.
Sources close to Manjhi, who has refused to step down and termed the JD(U) Legislature Party meet “unconstitutional”, said he wanted BJP to support his bid to prevent Kumar — his one-time mentor against whom he has rebelled — from taking over from him.
At the meeting, which is scheduled to be held at 5pm., Manjhi and Modi could explore possibilities in this regard, they added.
Manjhi is here to attend the NITI Aayog meet where Modi will seek views of chief ministers on the budgetary allocation for the states and various central projects even though JD(U) has disapproved of his bid to take part in the exercise, saying his position as chief minister was no longer tenable.
Although BJP is keen to exploit the crisis within JD(U) to consolidate its position in Bihar, it is also wary about propping up Manjhi, whose tenure has been criticised by its state unit for poor governance.
The lack of support for the Mahadalit leader within his own party is also dissuading BJP from coming out openly to back Manjhi as it believes that numbers in the Bihar Assembly clearly favour Kumar.
Manjhi, on the other hand, is also exploring the possibility of a fresh election in the state — a demand also made by senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi — if the Bihar Governor Kesrinath Tripathi agrees to his Cabinet proposal to dissolve the Assembly.
Only seven members of the Manjhi Cabinet had supported the proposal at their meeting yesterday while 21 others had opposed it.
The Janata Dal (United) on Sunday alleged that the script of the ongoing political turmoil in Bihar has been written in Delhi, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah do not want Nitish Kumar to take over as the Chief Minister.
“This script has been written in Delhi. Amit Shah is the director and at the behest of him, there has been a conflict in the JD(U). At the behest of him, efforts are being made to dissolve the legislative assembly,” JD(U) leader KC Tyagi. “PM and Amit Shah at any cost do not want Nitish Kumar to be the Chief Minister,” he added.
Tyagi said that his party chief Sharad Yadav would submit a list of 130 MLAs to the Governor on Monday and expressed hope that Nitish would be called to take oath as the state’s next Chief Minister. “We hope that the Governor will call Nitish Kumar to be the next CM in a couple of days,” he said.
The JD(U) leader also alleged that Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has joined hands with the BJP. “Manjhi ji has joined hands with BJP. And the proof is that after one hour of legislative party meet, the BJP supported him and asked him to dissolve the assembly,” he said.
Also read – Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav responsible for political instability in Bihar: BJP
Nitish, who was elected as the leader of JD(U) legislature party at a party meeting held in Patna on Saturday, is expected to stake claim to form a new government in the state later in the day.
Earlier last evening, Manjhi called a meeting of his Cabinet which authorised the Chief Minister to recommend the dissolution of Bihar Assembly. But this move was strongly opposed by 20 ministers loyal to Nitish. Manjhi claimed he is authorised to take a decision on dissolution of the assembly.
Manjhi, who has refused to step down from his post, had on Saturday written a letter to the Bihar Governor and requested him not to accept the recommendations made by the JD(U) legislature party meeting headed by Sharad Yadav.
He also urged the Governor to remove 15 ministers from their posts with immediate effect.
Adding a new twist to the entire controversy, 20 ministers late last night sent their resignation to the Governor in support of Nitish.
Meanwhile, Manjhi is expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter’s official 7, Race Course Road (RCR) residence here this evening.