Patna: Bihar’s ruling JD-U has expressed strong reservation over ally RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s invitation to former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi to join the Janata Parivar to defeat the BJP in the state assembly polls in later this year.
Soon after Lalu Prasad urged Manjhi to join the Janata Parivar, Janata Dal-United leaders outrightly rejected any such possibility. “There is no question of Manjhi joining forces against the Bharatiya Janata Party because he has been doing his politics on behalf of the saffron party,” JD-U state president Vashisht Narain Singh said.
“Manjhi was given respect and honour by the JD-U but he decided to leave us,” Singh said and added that it was a serious issue and their “views and stand on this issue will also matter”. Another senior JD-U leader, Neeraj Kumar said Manjhi is a puppet of the BJP.
“Manjhi is not on our list; he is with the BJP. Where is question of his joining unity against the BJP?” Neeraj Kumar said. However, Brishen Patel, sernior leader of Manjhi’s newly floated party Hindustani Awam Morcha’s (HAM), said the HAM would not be a part of any combination in which Nitish Kumar is a part.
Exactly a year ago, Manjhi was hand-picked by then chief minister Nitish Kumar as his successor when he quit after the JD-U’s rout in the Lok Sabha polls. Later, the JD-U claimed that Manjhi was playing in the hands of BJP and expelled him. Manjhi resigned as chief minister when he failed to muster the number to prove his majority in the state assembly.