Distance growing between Bihar CM, some Cabinet ministers: JD(U)

PATNA(PTI): Bihar JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh accepted that “distance” was growing between the Chief Minister and some of his cabinet colleagues, which he said, should be bridged by Jitan Ram Manjhi.

“Manjhi should take the initiative to bridge the gap between him and some ministers of his Cabinet as it is his team and he is running the government,” Singh said. The party, he said, was facing “problem” over some statements of Manjhi and he has been told to restrain from such assertions.

The recent controversy highlighting cracks within the JD(U) ministry came after Manjhi on Monday justified transfer of IAS officials in some department as he was not happy over the performance of Road Construction Department (RCD) and some other departments.

RCD ministry is with Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan, a close confidante of former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Lallan and his ministerial colleague P K Shahi had written a letter to Chief Secretary complaining about the transfer of officers in violation of rules. The JD(U) also saw politics in Union minister Uma Bharti praising Manjhi as “garibo ke messiah” (apostle of the poor).

“There are several individuals in our party who deserves praise. We would feel happy if BJP praises them. But, they are not doing so and praising only Manjhi,” Singh said reacting to Union Water Resources minister Uma Bharti praising Manjhi on Monday. Industries minister Bhim Singh also saw politics in Bharti’s action.

“BJP is anti-dalit in approach so there must have been politics behind Bharti praising the CM,” he said.

Senior RJD leader Prabhunath Singh said while Uma Bharti was praising the chief minister, state leaders of her party, including Sushil Kumar Modi, were after Manjhi over incongruity in his age in three poll affidavits.