Bharatiya Janata Party defends decision to back Jitan Ram Manjhi

Putting up a brave face after the sudden resignation of Jitan Ram Manjhi ahead of the trust vote today, BJP said it had backed the chief minister…

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Putting up a brave face after the sudden resignation of Jitan Ram Manjhi ahead of the trust vote today, BJP said it had backed the chief minister to express solidarity with a mahadalit chief minister and expose JD(U)LP leader Nitish Kumar’s “lust” for power.

BJP had nothing to do with the sequence of events as Manjhi had decided to demit power knowing that he did not have the required numbers, Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told newsmen defending the party’s decision.

“BJP came into the picture at the very last minute following a consensus among the party MLAs and leadership to back a beleaguered mahadalit chief minister,” he said.

“We had taken a calibrated decision to back Manjhi given his mahadalit background and the manner in which he was humiliated by his own party at the behest of his predecessor Nitish Kumar, who lusted for power despite abdicating the chief minister’s post last year on moral ground after the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

BJP had lent support on the rider that Manjhi would have to muster the required number of MLAs from his own party to pass the trust vote, which eventually did not take place as he resigned without facing the house, Sushil Modi said.

BJP, he claimed, has succeeded in exposing Kumar’s “brazen lust for power” barely eight months after demitting the chief minister’s office vowing never to take up the post again unless the people voted in JD(U) in the coming assembly polls.

Now that Kumar was set to take up the reins of power again given the fact that he has already staked claim, BJP had achieved its two-pronged strategy of exposing the humiliation of a Dalit chief minister at the hands of his predecessor and Kumar’s lust for power, Sushil Modi, his former deputy said.

About the fall of the Manjhi government, the BJP leader said as far as he was concerned Manjhi has emerged victorious despite losing power while Kumar has lost out badly despite winning the plot as per a script written by him to take over the reins of power again ahead of the assembly elections by ousting Manjhi in a humiliating manner.

Apparently seeking to wash off its hands from the political imbroglio afflicting Bihar for the past two weeks in which BJP had jumped to Manjhi’s support at the last minute, he said the political crisis was a fall out of “power struggle between two camps of JD(U).”

“It’s for the first time in political history of Bihar that two groups of the same party with as many aspirants for the chief minister’s post were locked in power struggle. It triggered off a constitutional crisis with the matter going to the Raj Bhawan and the President’s office for resolution.” Sushil Modi said.

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