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Nitish back in control, Manjhi gamble backfires

Nitish back in control, Manjhi gamble backfires
Later in the day JD(U) sacked Manjhi and elected Kumar as new leader of JD(U) legislature party in Bihar assembly on Saturday. Before the meeting of the JD(U) legislature party, Manjhi called a meeting of his cabinet attended by barely seven ministers and recommended dissolution of assembly.

With the political stalemate in Bihar taking an ugly turn, former BJP leader and now Governor-in-charge of Bihar Keshari Nath Tripathi could play a crucial role in ending the political impassse. The turf war is making Tripathi a negotiator and the NDA government at the Centre may have to step in, with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh likely to play a key role.

There are speculations that Tripathi may go by the impending Bihar cabinet decision to dissolve the assembly and allow Manjhi to continue as CM till the elections.

With the last-minute patch up efforts between Jitan Ram Manjhi and his party JD(U) coming a cropper, Manjhi went ahead and proposed dissolution of the assembly which was overwhelmingly rejected by cabinet ministers at a meeting. The proposal for dissolving the assembly was supported by seven ministers besides Manjhi, while 21 pro-Nitish Kumar ministers opposed it, state Finance Minister Bijendra Yadav told reporters. The proposal to dissolve the Assembly was moved by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh at the meeting attended by all  29 ministers. Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and PK Shahi did not attend as Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi earlier in the day accepted the Chief Minister’s recommendation to dismiss them as ministers.

Food Minister Shyam Rajak, a close confidante of Kumar, told Millennium Post over phone that those who sided with Manjhi and approved the proposal to dissolve the Assembly were Narendra Singh, Brishen Patel, Binay Bihari, Shahid Ali Khan, Nitish Mishra, Bhim Singh and Mahachandra Prasad Singh.

The cabinet meeting took place immediately after Manjhi’s meeting with Kumar for nearly two hours of talks, which was seen as a last-ditch effort for a patch up between two warring groups within JD(U).

Congratulating Kumar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her tweet said, “Nitish Kumar to become the Chief Minister of Bihar again. My warmest best wishes and congratulations to Nitishji.”
Dhirendra Kumar

Dhirendra Kumar

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