Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who is in revolt against his party JD-U and step down from his post, Sunday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi but said no political issues were discussed. Manjhi, who was here to attend the first meeting of the NITI Aayog which replaces the Planning Commission, had a nearly 40-minute meeting with Modi.
“I did not discuss politics with him,” Manjhi said at a press conference after the meeting. “Modiji has done some good work for Bihar and we thanked him for that,” he said. The Bihar chief minister said he would go for a floor test in the state assembly Feb 20. “On the floor, whoever gives us support we will take it.”
“I will not resign from the chief minister’s post,” he said, adding: “They (JD-U) had this misunderstanding that they will make me do whatever they want me to do”. Manjhi was hand-picked by then chief minister Nitish Kumar to replace him after the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) faced a Lok Sabha debacle and Kumar resigned owning moral responsibility.
However, Manjhi revolted against him after majority of JD-U MLAs legislators picked Nitish Kumar as the legislature party leader paving way for him to stake claim to lead the government. The Bihar chief minister has labelled the election illegal and sought dissolution of the assembly.
The JD-U has 115 legislators in the 243-member assembly, most of whom are reportedly with Nitish Kumar. It is backed by 24 legislators of the RJD, 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.
Manjhi enjoys the support of over a dozen JD-U legislators. He is banking on the support of the BJP, which has openly come out in his favour. The BJP has 88 legislators and is supported by three independents. (IANS)