Bihar political crisis: CM Jitan Ram Manjhi calls cabinet meet at 2 pm; assembly to dissolved?

Patna(ANI/PTI/IANS): Patna: With the political rift within the JD(U) in Bihar appearing to have reached the point of no return, Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has called a meeting of his cabinet at 2 pm amid reports that he may recommend dissolution of Assembly to the Governor.

Bihar political crisis: CM Jitan Ram Manjhi calls cabinet meet at 2 pm; assembly to dissolved?

As per reports, Saturday, Manjhi wants to dissolve the house ahead of a legislature party meeting called by party chief Sharad Yadav later today where the party may announce Nitish Kumar as the new CM.

Importantly, Manjhi has refused to step down as CM. Terming the meeting called by Yadav as unauthorised, Manjhi has called a separate meeting of the legislative party on Feb 20.

In a a late night development, yesterday, Manjhi has reportedly sent recommendation to dismiss two ministers — Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and PK Shahi — to the Governor, saying their activities were not in the best interest of the government.

Supports of Nitish Kumar and Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today clashed here, amid a power struggle between the two ruling JD(U) leaders.

According to sources, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav has prepared a letter for Governor requesting him not to entertain plea of Manjhi who is in “minority” now.

This after a fight broke between supporters of Kumar and Manjhi outside state JD(U) headquarters yesterday.

JD(U) sources said some people under the banner of Dalit Mushar Chetna Samiti assembled outside the party office, shouted slogans and burnt effigy of Kumar. They also allegedly attacked some people believed to be supporters of Kumar.

Manjhi was scheduled to leave for Delhi today to take part in the Niti Aayog meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, given the fast pace of developments in Patna it remains to be seen whether he will take that flight.

There was bitter exchange of words between the two factions. JD(U) General Secretary K C Tyagi told reporters that Manjhi could be removed from the party if he violates discipline and does not attend tomorrow’s meeting. Manjhi reacted angrily.”Tyagi has gone mad,” he said.

Manjhi enjoys the support of over a dozen party legislators and he is banking on the support of the BJP, which is openly backing him.

Nitish Kumar is yet to say anything about the ongoing developments in the party.

The JD-U has 115 legislators in the 243-member Assembly.

It is supported by 24 legislators of Lalu Prasad`s Rashtriya Janata Dal, five of the Congress, one from the Communist Party of India and two Independents, making it a total of 147 — more than the 122 needed for a simple majority.

The BJP has 88 legislators and it has the support of three Independents. Five seats are vacant.

With agency inputs