Bihar Crisis: BJP and the Centre had created a script for dirty politics in Bihar : Nitish Kumar

New Delhi(PTI/IANS/UNI/ANI): Nitish Kumar alleged that BJP and the Centre had created a script for dirty politics in Bihar and had given a license for horse-trading in the state.

Nitish Kumar will meet President Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

“The script and license for horse-trading came from the Centre here in Delhi,” said Nitish. “The Governor was earlier convinced that before the Budget session, there should be a floor test in the House. Soon after that though, he delayed his decision,” said Nitish, adding that BJP was responsible for changing the Governor’s firm stand.

“When regular sessions in the Bihar Assembly begin, the Governor’s address is the first thing that happens. Which government will the Governor address then? He needs to decide that,” Nitish said, adding that this issue was exactly why the Governor needed to hold a special session before regular sessions began in the House.

“The Bihar Vidhan Sabha has five parties. Four of these parties are together. Members from these parties met the Governor. The one party left out is the BJP,” said Nitish. He said that the Governor allowing a minority government to function despite four parties being against the government was wrong. “Till now, even the BJP has not given support to the government.”

“BJP in Bihar has been given a license for horse-trading from the Centre,” Nitish said. “BJP stands exposed today. It is strangling democracy,” he said.

“Bihar politics is being polluted. A script for President’s rule is being made here,” said the former Bihar Chief Minister. He said the rules of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha were being broken because Manjhi had the support of only 12 MLAs.

Nitish also said that BJP would lose the Bihar polls later this year. “BJP in Bihar will be reduced to the same pathetic condition they are facing in Delhi now,” he said.

9.36 am: Bihar Governor a puppet in the hands of BJP, says JD(U)

JD(U) leader Pavan Varma slammed the Bihar Governor, saying he had no doubt that the governor was a puppet in the hands of the BJP.

Speaking to Times Now, Varma said, “Our worst apprehensions have come true. It is not my place to doubt the intentions of the Governor. But the impact of the decisions is exactly what we have predicted: horse-trading, unethical use of money and the attempt to break parties.”

“Our apprehension is that it is going to be a murky picture in Bihar. Manjhi has only 12 MLAs supporting him. His real supporter is the BJP…The actor behind this whole drama is the BJP. Manjhi is the puppet,” Varma said.

“We are seeing a mockery of democracy,” said the JD(U) leader.

Responding to a question about whether Varma felt the Governor was a puppet in the hands of the BJP, he said, “To my mind, there is no doubt about it. He is a puppet. BJP might be trying to play cloak and dagger but their plan is obvious.”

“All kinds of offers are coming to our MLAs. They are not accepting the offers but it shows us that our apprehensions were true,” Varma said.

8.52 am: Rahul Gandhi meets Bihar Congress leaders

With Congress keeping a close watch on developments in Bihar, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday held deliberations with all its five party MLAs.

Rahul Gandhi asked the party leaders about the strategy to be adopted by Congress in Bihar for the Assembly elections to be held in the year-end.

The Congress vice president also took the suggestions on how to strengthen the party base in the Hindi-state where it is out of power on its own for last three decades.

Gandhi talked at length on his pet subject of empowering the grassroots in the party structure and giving more power to district and block presidents.

12 February, 8.14 am: Manjhi asked by Governor to prove majority on 20 Feb

Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi asked Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi to prove his majority on the floor of the House on 20 February.

“Immediately after Governor’s address of the joint session of Bihar Legislature on the opening day of Budget session on February 20, Manjhi will have to prove majority in the Legislative Assembly,” highly places sources in Raj Bhavan said.

There was, however, no information whether the Governor has accepted Manjhi’s request for secret ballot or not, they said. – PTI

End of updates for 11 February

7.53 pm: Nitish Kumar urges President Mukherjee to intervene in matter as soon as possible

Senior leader of JD(U) Nitish Kumar along with party chief Sharad Yadav, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav met with President Pranab Mukherjee and spoke to him about the situation in Bihar.

Pro-Nitish JD(U) legislators were paraded infront of Pranab Mukherjee as a show of support.

Later speaking with the media, Nitish Kumar said:

“Formation of government in the state should not be delayed further. We want to be fair to everybody, so give the current government a chance to prove majority. If they can prove it in the House let them form a government. We told Mr President that we enjoy a majority in Bihar. The process should be fast tracked. Deliberate delay is causing loss and government isn’t able to work.”

When asked about BJP’s allegations, the senior JD(U) leader said that BJP is making a joke of democracy. Nitish alleged that BJP’s gameplan is to induce unrest in Bihar and eventually get President’s rule imposed in the state. “BJP is worried. Till yesterday they blamed me for everything. They wanted to created confusion and problem in Bihar. But now they are alienated. They have been cornered in Delhi and it has showed them their real place.”

“We told him not to wait till budget session; in budget session the budget should be put forth by the ruling govt at that time. We want no deliberate delay in the matter. President has assured us that he will look into the matter,” said Nitish Kumar.

Even Lalu Prasad spoke with the media.

6.43 pm: Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav and other pro-Nitish MLAs leave to meet Pranab Mukherjee

According to latest reports, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav along with JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar and JD(U) legislators who are pro-Nitish for the Chief Minister-post in Bihar left for Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet President Pranab Mukherjee.

5.33 pm: MLAs meet Sharad Yadav with Nitish Kumar, to meet President soon

Nitish Kumar, by 6.30 pm, will ferry his 130 MLAs to Rashtrapati Bhavan where the legislators will be paraded in show of strength in front of President Pranab Mukherjee.

According to latest reports, Nitish Kumar, along with his MLAs, met with JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, before they start for Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Meanwhile, the top BJP leaders were quoted by this NDTV report as saying that they will not be directly involving themselves in the Bihar logjam. The BJP will watch the crisis created in Bihar by a political tussle in the Janata Dal United from the sidelines, the party’s top leadership has decided, NDTV quoted sources as saying.

5.18 pm: JD(U) MLAs kept in captivity, alleges Ram Vilas Paswan

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan alleged that JD(U) MLAs have been “kept in captivity”” in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, which is under Samajwadi Party’s rule, and asked Manjhi to ensure that the MLAs are “freed” so that they can vote freely during a trust vote in the state Assembly, reported PTI.

Paswan also drew a parallel of the current situation with that of February 2005, when his Lok Janshakti Party MLAs were taken to Jharkhand to help JD(U) form government in the state.

“JD(U) had then engaged in horse-trading of LJP MLAs. This time they are alleging that somebody else is trying to do that. The fact is that MLAs of JD(U) are divided and hence they have been bundled together to Delhi to prevent a split,” Paswan was quoted as saying by PTI.

“Parading the MLAs before the President is an excuse. All this exercise is to prevent that the MLAs opposed to Nitish Kumar do not leave him and support Manjhi. What is wrong if Manjhi is ready to prove his majority in the House on February 20? The Governor should ask Manjhi to prove his suppport,” he said.

4.56 pm: Pappu Yadav comes out in support of Manjhi

In a fresh twist to the political logjam in Bihar, RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav on Wednesday came out in support of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and asked his party chief Lalu Prasad to reconsider the decision to remove him.

Soon after the Patna HC stayed Nitish Kumar’s recognition as the leader of JD(U) in place of Chief Minister Manjhi, Yadav said it has become clear that the meeting called by JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav to elect Kumar as LP leader was “illegal and unconstitutional”.

“If we want to fight communalism, we cannot do it after weakening the ideology of social justice. There is a need to project a hero of common man in Bihar. At present, Manjhi (a Mahadalit) should be allowed to remain Chief Minister. He was doing a lot for the Dalits and minorities. I request Laluji to reconsider his decision supporting Manjhi’s replacement with Kumar,” Yadav told PTI.

Meanwhile, according to Headlines Today, Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav will accompany Nitish Kumar to see the President when the former CM meets Pranab with his 130 MLAs later today in the evening.

4.14 pm: 130 JD(U) legislators enroute to meet President Pranab Mukherjee

Around 130 JD(U) legislators are on their way to meet President Pranab Mukherjee to announce their support to Nitish Kumar, media reports said.

Nitish Kumar, who will present over 130 MLAs before the President on Wednesday evening to show that he enjoys majority support in the Bihar assembly, earlier had accused the Modi government of encouraging “horse-trading” of MLAs in the state and alleged collusion by the Governor.

3.42 pm: Nitish Kumar should wait for Governor’s decision, says BJP

BJP reacted positively to the High Court order and said that Nitish Kumar should wait for the Governor’s decision.

“BJP hopes that Nitish Kumar trusts constitutional institutions. He should wait for the Governor’s decision,” said BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain. “In his hurry to become the CM, he is making several claims. Nitish Kumar has said leaving the CM post was a mistake. But his biggest mistake was that he didn’t realise that the people voted for his alliance with the BJP and against Lalu Prasad Yadav.”

“Nitish Kumar was PM-in waiting. These days, he has become CM-in waiting,” said Hussain.

2.56 pm: Rajnath Singh holds consultations on Bihar crisis

Home Minister Rajnath Singh held consultations with the attorney general over Nitish Kumar’s demand for a special session in the Bihar Legislative Assembly, according to TV reports.

2.43 pm: Manjhi taking legal measures to prolong govt, promote horse-trading, says JD(U)

JD(U) reacted to the Patna High Court order and said that Jitan Ram Manjhi was taking legal measures to prolong his government and promote horse-trading.

Ajay Alok of the JD(U) said, “With all due respect to the Patna High Court, what we are demanding is completely different.”

Alok said that instead of focussing on the leadership of Nitish, the party had gone to the governor because majority of the members of the Bihar Legislative Assembly had lost faith in the Manjhi government. “All the 130 MLAs supporting Nitish Kumar have lost faith in the governance of Manjhi, which is why we have gone to the Governor and the President to call for a special session of the House,” said Alok.

“Manjhi, who is a minority CM, has the support of only 30 members of the House,” he said. “Manjhi is taking legal and constitutional measures to prolong his government and promote horse-trading. He is giving out money to distribute cabinet positions.”

“Where does the question of Nitish’s leadership come?” Alok said, adding that the real issue was that Manjhi’s government did not have majority in the House.

1.54 pm: Patna High Court declares Nitish’s appointment as JD(U) Legislative Party head illegal

The Patna High Court declared the appointment of Nitish Kumar as the head of the JD(U) legislative party head illegal, according to reports. The PIL against the appointment had been reportedly filed by Rajeshwar Raj, one of Manjhi’s supporters.

The High Court termed the Speaker nominating Nitish Kumar as the JD(U) legislative party head as illegal. “The court said that JD(U) had virtually replaced the Chief Minister without proper procedure,” said Raj’s lawyer. The court also said that only the governor can now decide on the issue, according to Times Now.

This court order comes after Nitish Kumar said that the Governor’s delay on any decision gives encouragement to horse-trading.

“We will go to the President and tell him that the Governor’s delay on resolving this crisis is encouraging horse-trading,” Nitish Kumar told Times Now. “Allowing this kind of government to continue to function in Bihar is against parliamentary norms.”

“Impossible things are happening in the government,” he said. “The intention, clearly, is to not let a majority government be formed.”

Reacting to Nitish’s statements, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, “The majority is only decided in the House…The governor has not decided anything and Nitish Kumar is already reaching out to the President.”

“Why doesn’t he trust the Governor? Whether the majority is with Nitish Kumar or with Jitan Ram Manjhi will be decided within the Vidhan Sabha. I have never seen this kind of desperation for power in anyone,” said Hussain.

11 February, 10.38 am: Nitish Kumar to meet President to prove majority

Nitish Kumar will meet President Pranab Mukherjee along with 130 supporting MLAs to show his majority and ask for the President’s support to form a new government in Bihar.

Nitish Kumar will meet President Pranab Mukherjee. PTINitish Kumar will meet President Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

Nitish and his MLAs arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday night in two commercial flights. This move by the former Bihar CM comes after he questioned the “delay” by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi in defusing the political crisis in the state.

“It is more than 24 hours and no decision has come from the Bihar Governor in regard to our claim to form the government. The majority is in our favour and we will inform the President of India about it. We will take our MLAs to him around 2.15 pm tomorrow,” Nitish had told reporters at Patna airport.

“We took the entire bunch of 130 supporting MLAs to Raj Bhavan, gave letters of support from all of them on February 8. Then what is there to study… There is no rationale in delaying the decision to invite me to form a government,” he had added.

End of updates for 9 February

3.44 pm: Not running away from floor test, says Manjhi

Jitan Ram Manjhi said that he was not running away from proving majority in the House after he met the Bihar Governor. However, Manjhi also said that he told the Governor that he wanted to take the floor test on 19 or 20 February.

“Election of Nitish Kumar as legislative party leader is illegal,” Manjhi said. “I explained the everything to the Governor. He said he will take the appropriate decision.”

“My demand for proving majority is voting by secret ballot,” he said. “All MLAs should be present in the House at that time and one representative from each should be present,” he added.

“Mujhe Sazish ka shikar banaya ja raha hai (People are trying to make a scapegoat out of me),” said Manjhi.

2.51 pm: BJP responsible for JD(U) breaking up, says Nitish after meeting Governor

Nitish Kumar also slammed the BJP saying that the BJP was responsible for the breaking up of the JD(U).

“All of what is happening is on the directions of the BJP. They are trying to break the JD(U) and harm allies of the party,” Nitish claimed.

“We have come together to fight the kind of politics that is taking place in the country that is against democracy,” Nitish said.

2.45 pm: Confident that governor will take decision on govt formation soon, says Nitish

Nitish Kumar, after meeting Bihar governor said that the JD(U), RJD, Congress and CPI combine has asked the governor to expedite the process of forming a new government.

“We told the governor that all MLAs are present here with us and are ready to testify support for JD(U) lead by me,” Nitish Kumar said.

Nitish said, “We asked him to take action within 24-48 hours and we promised to prove majority in the Assembly.”

Speaking of the upcoming budget, Nitish said, “Before the Budget session of the Assemly begins, we requested the governor to decide which government will call the session in Bihar.”

He criticised Jitan Manjhi saying he was trying to create a negative atmosphere by alleging horse trading.

Nitish said, “We hope that the Governor will take decision on government formation soon.”

2.37 pm: Sharad Yadav, Lalu, Nitish meet guv; stake claim to form govt

After meeting the Bihar governor, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav informed that he along with Nitish Kumar and RJD’s Lalu Yadav met Bihar governor to stake claim for government. They said they asked the governor to act quickly on this matter.

In a press conference after the meet, Lalu Yadav said, “We have submitted a letter to the governor staking claim to form a new government with Nitish Kumar as the chief minister.”

“The governor heard our plea, but also said that he will take a decision after he meets Jitan Manjhi who is also scheduled to meet him,” Lalu said.

“Nitish Kumar has support from his party MLAs and also from RJD,” said Lalu

2.20 pm: Nitish meets Bihar Governor

Nitish Kumar met Bihar Governor KN Tripathi after staging a march to his house along with 130 MLAs. According to PTI, Manjhi will meet Tripathi at 3 pm.

1.45 pm: Nitish along with supporters reaches Governor’s House

Nitish Kumar, along with his supporters, has reached the Raj Bhawan in Bihar, as he and 130 MLAs marched towards the Governor’s House in Bihar, where he will ask the Governor to resolve the issue by either giving Manjhi 48 hours to prove his majority or appoint Nitish CM.

JD(U) President Sharad Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad accompanied Nitish Kumar to Raj Bhawan. Nitish was also accompanied by MLAs of JD(U), RJD, Congress and CPI, according t PTI.

“We have majority. We want Nitish Kumar to be Bihar CM,” said JD(U) leader Ramai Ram, who was one of the supporters marching towards the Governor’s House.

12.58 pm: ‘Operation Jitan Ram Manjhi’ was carried on under Amit Shah’s direction, says JD(U)

JD(U) leader KC Tyagi, in a press conference, said Manjhi had been expelled from the party because he was involved in anti-party activities.

“Sharad Yadav removed Jitan Ram Manjhi as a member of the JD(U) on charges of indiscipline,” said Tyagi. “Yadav took this decision on the basis of party principle. The decision was taken on the basis of the emergency powers of the party under Article 23 of the party constitution,” he said.

Tyagi also said that the JD(U) Legislature Party meeting in which Nitish Kumar was made the leader was called by Manjhi himself. “He called the meeting because he said there were some disputes which needed to be settled. However, instead of attending the meeting, he called the meeting invalid,” said the JD(U) leader.

“Manjhi was involved in anti-party activities,” he said. Tyagi also slammed the BJP for earlier criticising the Bihar government and later on siding with Manjhi. “Earlier, Sushil Kumar Modi had said that Bihar is going towards jungle raj. When we acted on Sushil Modi’s advice (by removing Manjhi), he turned against us,” Tyagi said.

“This entire script ‘Operation Jitan Ram Manjhi’ was under the direction of Amit Shah. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself blessed the operation,” said Tyagi.

The JD(U) leader also challenged Manjhi to prove his majority on the floor of the House. “Manjhi just has 12 supporters…Within 48 hours, either Manjhi needs to prove his majority to the Governor or Nitish should become CM and show his majority,” he said.

12.07 pm: Manjhi expelled from JD(U)

Jitan Ram Manjhi has been expelled from the JD(U), according to reports.

Jitan Ram Manjhi was expelled from JD(U). PTIJitan Ram Manjhi was expelled from JD(U). PTI

“(JD-U national president) Sharad Yadav has expelled Manjhi from the party for anti-party activities,” Shrawan Kumar, who is considered close to Nitish Kumar, told IANS. “Manjhi is no longer with JD-U. It is final,” he said.

Kumar also told IANS that JD(U) has informed Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi about Manjhi being expelled from the party.

CNN-IBN also said that the supporters of Manjhi will approach the judiciary over his dismissal. “Manjhi is not the leader of the legislative assembly,” said KC Tyagi. He will also address a press conference at 12.30 pm, where he will reportedly give details on the party’s next move.

Manjhi has now arrived in Patna and will meet the Bihar Governor at 1.30 pm. Nitish Kumar will meet the Governor at 2.30 pm, according to CNN-IBN.

11.59 am: All eyes on Bihar Governor to resolve crisis

“All eyes would be on the move of Governor Tripathi, who arrived here from Kolkata, as his any decision will make or mar Manjhi and Nitish Kumar’s fate,” a senior JD-U leader said requesting anonymity.

“Governor has several options, which he can exercise and opt,” constitutional and legal experts said.

Meanwhile, JD-U’s ally Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janta Dal’s (RJD) legislature party meet began in Patna at former chief minister Rabri Devi’s official residence to discuss the political situation. “RJD is solidly behind JD-U leader Nitish Kumar, who was re-elected as leader of the legislature party. We have majority with us and ready to prove it either today or tomorrow,” RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui said. – IANS

11.49 am: JD(U), Congress slam BJP for “interference” in Bihar tussle

The JD(U) lashed out at the BJP, PM Modi and party president Amit Shah, saying they were using Manjhi as a ploy to attack Nitish Kumar.

“Centre is trying to split JD(U). They are supporting Manjhi who has the support of only 12 MLAs,” KC Tyagi told Times Now. “Amit Shah is famous for his encounters. Now, he is doing political encounter in Bihar,” he said.

“There was no personal agenda in the removal of Manjhi,” Tyagi said. He added that Nitish Kumar will meet the Bihar Governor at 1.30 pm today along with Lalu Prasad Yadav. “He will submit a list of 130 MLAs, that is more than the magic number…We have a clear-cut majority,” he said.

JD-U state president Vashsisht Narain Singh has said that majority is with Nitish Kumar as “he is our leader. Manjhi is in minority”.

Apart from the JD(U), Congress also criticised BJP for “interference” in the Bihar tussle. “What happened there is their internal problem, but we see a BJP game-plan behind this,” said Congress leader PC Chacko. “The JD(U) CM met the Prime Minister. This shows that the PM himself is the conspirator. CM meeting PM shows that BJP is hand-in-glove with this defector of the JDU.”

11.12 am: Nitish insulted CM post, concerned only about power, says BJP

BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain slammed former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, saying Nitish has insulted the CM post and cares only about power.

“Nitish Kumar is looking worried whereas Manjhi is looking confident,” Hussain said. “They are accusing BJP of instability in Bihar…But Nitish has to tell the people of Bihar why he broke ties with BJP in the first place. Did the desire to become PM not influence him?”

Further criticising Nitish, Hussain said, “When he had said that he would resign, why did Nitish design this intricate plot to sack a Mahadalit CM? What is the reason for Manjhi’s resignation? What were his faults?”

“Nitish kept insulting the CM post. Manjhi was nothing but loyal to him…If Nitish wanted to become CM again, why did he resign in the first place? He has been exposed. He cares only about power,” said the BJP leader. “The number of people who support Nitish will be decided on the floor of the House, not in his party’s office,” he added.

He also said Manjhi’s press conference on Sunday was a big eye-opener. “Not letting a CM work and using him as a puppet shows what Nitish truly wanted,” he said.

10.13 am: Modi’s rath stopped by Kejriwal, Nitish will stop him in Bihar, says JD(U)

“If Nitish is not made Bihar CM, we will protest in Delhi,” said JD(U) leader KC Tyagi. “Modi’s rath will be stopped by Kejriwal and in Bihar, Nitish will stop Modi,” he said.

Meanwhile, RJD said it will always support Nitish Kumar, according to CNN-IBN. They party also said that BJP was responsible for the political instability in Bihar.

Bihar Governor KN Tripathi has reached Patna. Nitish Kumar is expected to meet the Governor along with 130 MLAs at 1.30 pm today.

9 February, 9.08 am: Manjhi will support Nitish if he is made Deputy CM, says JD(U)

According to reports, JD(U) leader Ramai Ram said that Jitan Ram Manjhi will support Nitish Kumar if he is made the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar. Manjhi, along with Nitish Kumar, will meet the Governor later today.

JD(U) leader Ali Anwar also said that “Jitan Ram Manjhi came under BJP’s trap.”

“Ultimately, this plan of BJP won’t work,” Anwar told ANI. “This entire game is BJP’s, but they don’t know what politics hold.”

Reports also said that Manjhi has left the Bihar Niwas in New Delhi.

End of updates for 8 February

10 pm: Nitish to meet Bihar governor at 1.30 pm on Monday

The newly elected JD(U)LP leader Nitish Kumar was given time at 1:30 pm on Monday to meet Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi to stake claim to form the government, highly placed sources in Raj Bhawan said.

The governor would be arriving in Patna tomorrow at 9:30 am from Kolkata, amid hectic efforts by Nitish Kumar group to form a new government.

He would administer oath to the Chief Information Commissioner at Raj Bhawan at 12:30 pm on Monday, as per the invitation send to mediapersons about the function.

With Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi refusing to vacate the chair and Kumar, who was recognised as the new JD(U)LP leader by Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary during the day, all set to stake claim to form government, all eyes are set on the Raj Bhawan.

Earlier in the day letters of support by JD(U), RJD, Congress, CPI and one independent in favour of Kumar claiming support of 130 out of the total 233 MLAs in the house was submitted to the Raj Bhawan.

6.30 pm: Feel sorry for Nitish Kumar, says Manjhi

A visibly unhappy Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi told a press conference in New Delhi that although Nitish Kumar is a good man he has now shown his real face. And what is this real face?

Manjhi said Nitish had. PTIManjhi said he felt sorry for Nitish. PTI

“Nitish Kumar cannot stay from power. He suffers from lust for power. JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav has no legal authority to call a meeting of the legislative body of the party. This is illegal,” Manjhi said.

Calling the move to ouster him as unethical and anti-Dalit, he said, “They made me the chief minister thinking that I would act like a rubber stamp. But I have my self-respect. I have to raise my voice against something wrong. I feel bad that Nitish Kumar has been influenced by people with self-interest.”

Asserting that he won’t resign immediately, Manjhi said, “I am very much Bihar’s chief minister and will remain till JD(U) decides otherwise, but Nitish Kumar is trying everything he can to become chief minister.”

6.15 pm: Turf war in Bihar gets bitter with FIR

The fight within JD(U) on forming the government in Bihar turned uglier with an FIR being lodged against Minister Vinay Bihari for allegedly threatening a colleague from a rival camp, a charge denied by him.

An FIR has been lodged on the complaint of former minister Bima Bharti against Minister Vinay Bihari and MLA Sumit Singh for threatening her with dire consequences if she did not support Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi Manjhi, station house officer (SHO) of Sachivalya police station Amrendra Kumar Jha told PTI.

Sumit Singh is the son of senior minister Narendra Singh, who has emerged as the main adviser of Manjhi.

Bharti, who is among 15 ministers whose dismissal was recommended by Manjhi to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi yesterday, said she told Bihari that Nitish Kumar was her leader and Manjhi had ‘back stabbed’ him and the party.

11.45 am: Manjhi to meet PM Modi

Beleaguered Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi in the evening today with the two expected to discuss the political situation in the state where an overwhelming majority of ruling JD(U) MLAs yesterday chose Nitish Kumar as their party leader, says a PTI report.

Manjhi, who has refused to step down and termed the JD(U) Legislature Party meet yesterday as “unconstitutional”, said he wanted BJP to support his bid to prevent Nitish Kumar from taking over as Bihar CM. Kumar was once Manjhi’s mentor.

The meeting is scheduled to be held at 5 PM and the Bihar CM is in Delhi 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. JD(U) has disapproved of Manjhi’s bid to take part in the exercise.

Nitish Kumar to stake claim to form Bihar govt today

8 February, 8:35 am  Bihar’s ruling JD-U seemed to be on the verge of a split as Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi sought dissolution of the assembly despite opposition from a majority of his cabinet even as his predecessor Nitish Kumar was re-elected legislature party chief and was likely to stake claim to form the government Sunday.

Twenty ministers, considered close to Nitish Kumar, resigned Saturday following Manjhi’s move, said a Janata Dal-United leader.

Nitish Kumar, who was Saturday evening elected the legislature party leader at a meeting attended by nearly 100 of the party’s 115 legislators, will stake claim to form the government Sunday, the leader said.

Meanwhile, a close aide of Manjhi, who Saturday evening reached Delhi to attend Sunday’s meeting of the governing council of the NITI Aayog (which has replaced the Planning Commission), said he may take support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to run the government.

“We will take support of the BJP to run the government if there is any such need,” minister Narendra Singh, who is considered close to Manjhi, told the media.

End of updates on 7 Feb

10.47 pm: Manjhi reaches Delhi, BJP slams Nitish over Bihar CM row

Jitan Ram Manjhi has reached New Delhi to attend the NITI Aayog meeting scheduled for tomorrow. The rebel CM could be looking at wooing BJP in a bid to stay in power. There was no official word on whether he would separately meet the Prime Minister and BJP leaders.

As Manjhi reached Bihar Niwas in Delhi, his supporters raised slogans in his favour.

BJP also attacked JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, accusing him of being unjust to a ‘Mahadalit’ Bihar chief Jitan Ram Manjhi and demanded fresh polls in the state.

Narendra Modi and senior ministers in the party also held a meeting and discussed the Bihar situation. “We feel that there should be fresh polls in Bihar as Nitish Kumar has lost the mandate of the people who had elected BJP and JD-U to power and not JD-U alone. We are keeping a close watch on the situation and hope fresh polls are ordered soon. Nitish Kumar seems hungry for power and that is why he has got himself re-elected as the Legistrature Party leader by ousting a maha-dalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi,” BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told PTI.

10.12 pm: Case filed against Sharad Yadav for ‘conspiring to remove’ Manjhi

A case against JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav, general secretary KC Tyagi and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar was filed at a local court at Hajipur in Vaishali district on the charge of “conspiring to remove” Manjhi and insulting him.

“The case has been filed under sections 504 and 120B of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 at Chief Judicial Magistrate Kanhaiya Ram’s court by a local dalit leader Lalan Ram,” a PTI report quoted a court official as saying.

“In the case, Yadav, Tyagi and Kumar have been accused of conspiring to remove Manjhi and using abusive, as well as, unrestrained language against him with an intention to insult him with intent to provoke breach of peace in the society,” the official added.

9.19 pm: 20 ministers resign from Manjhi’s cabinet

Twenty ministers have resigned from Manjhi’s cabinet in Bihar, out of which two were already dismissed, JD(U) leader Shyam Rajak told ANI.

Meanwhile, Bihar Governor KN Tripathi accepted the dismissal of the two JD(U) leaders Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and PK Shahi, reported PTI.

6.23 pm: JD(U) members were worried under Manjhi, people of Bihar were restless, says Nitish

Nitish Kumar, in a press conference in Bihar, said he took the decision to return because the people and JD(U) members were worried under Manjhi’s rule.

“I was forced to take up the challenge afresh. The kind of atmosphere being created in the state and the way the issue of governance, which was our USP, was being marginalized forced me come to the front,” announced Nitish, asking all his party legislators not to leave state headquarters for next few days.

“JD(U) members were worried under Manjhi’s rule…People were restless in Bihar,” said Kumar. “Our attempt now is to win the trust of the people again.”

Kumar also said that when the Lok Sabha poll results came out, he resigned because he felt a lack of trust from the people of Bihar. “When the Lok Sabha polls came out, I resigned but JD(U) members were against it,” he said. “Now, I am ready to take up the functioning of the state. I will lead from the front,” declared Nitish shortly after being elected the leader of the JD(U) legislature party.

Nitish Kumar elected leader of JD(U) Legislature Party, Manjhi sacked as Bihar CM

After a lot of speculation over the past week that Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi was going to be sacked, Nitish Kumar was elected as Leader of the JD(U) Legislature Party at a meeting called by party President Sharad Yadav to replace Jitan Ram Manjhi as Chief Minister of Bihar.

The Manjhi-Nitish tussle intensified today as Manjhi was sacked as the Bihar CM. IBNLiveThe Manjhi-Nitish tussle intensified today as Manjhi was sacked as the Bihar CM. IBNLive

Masaurhi MLA Arun Manjhi, considered a supporter of Manjhi, proposed Kumar’s name, which was approved by others, Minister Shrawan Kumar told reporters.

The meeting, which was dubbed by defiant Manjhi as “unauthorised”, was attended by 97 out of 111 JD(U) MLAs and 37 out of a total of 41 members of the Legislative Council, party sources said.

The election of Kumar as the new leader of the party in the House comes nearly eight months after he resigned as CM in May, 2014 in the wake of party poor performance in general election.

He had handpicked Jitan Ram Manjhi to succeed him. Later, Manjhi rebelled against him.

Manjhi and seven ministers who had sided with him in the Cabinet meeting were absent along with some other MLAs and MLCs. They had submitted a proposal in a Cabinet meeting to dissolve the Bihar Legislative Assembly. However, The 21 pro-Nitish ministers out of a total of 29 rejected the proposal.

A copy of the letter signed by 21 pro-Nitish ministers, who had opposed the proposal was also faxed to President of India Pranab Mukherjee and Governor Kesrinath Tripathi.

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