Its curtains as of now for Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and this must have brought a sigh of relief among those who wish the state well. Having run a government without any legal or legislative mandate for over a fortnight, Manjhi finally realised that his game was up and decided to put in his papers even before facing the vote of confidence in the legislative assembly. This left the Bharatiya Janata Party red faced and rightly so.
The ruling party at the Centre, which had a bitter parting of ways last year with its ally of many past battles the Janata Dal (United), after covertly propping up Manjhi for several days against his political patron Nitish Kumar, on Thursday finally came out in support of the beleaguered ex-chief minister, declaring that its MLAs would go with him. Despite the BJP’s support and attempts to engineer defection by his new-found benefactor, the rebel MP from Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal failed, Manjhi could not find enough strength to face the House and abdicated.
The fair trial of strength was possible largely because Nitish Kumar was able to keep his flock together and the Patna High Court maintained a hawk eye on day to day proceedings. It took Manjhi to task for announcing freebies ahead of the trial of strength and said that such government decisions could only be implemented after the chief minister faced the House and proved majority on the floor. Manjhi on his part, learning a few lessons from the High Court order, went onto make public offers to his colleagues in JD(U) and the RJD to join ranks with him and get ministerial berths in return.