After former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi held a meeting with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at his official residence for 45 minutes on March 17, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has attacked Manjhi and reminded him of the favour RJD had done for his son and his party Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM). Tejashwi while briefing media indirectly hinted that Manjhi is free to leave Mahagathbandhan if he wants. Manjhi's meeting with Nitish Kumar has not gone down well with Tejashwi and his father Lalu.
While attacking Jitan Ram Manjhi, Tejashwi said, "Through coordination committee of the Mahagathbandhan, RJD nominated Jitan Ram Manjhi's son as Member of the State Legislative Council (MLC) from RJD quota in 2018. I want to ask Manjhi Ji as to how many tickets he got in NDA? We gave three Lok Sabha seats to his party and one Vidhan Sabha seat in the by-election. How much did he get from NDA."
Two days ago, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Upendra Kushwaha and Mukesh Sahni had met each other and demanded formation of Coordination committee of the Mahagathbandhan. While speaking to Republic TV, Manjhi had also refused to accept Tejashwi as the CM face.
Manjhi while reacting to Tejashwi's statement said that he had always been active for the development of his constituency, and he had gone to meet Nitish Kumar for that. "I went to Nitish Kumar yesterday for a scheme related to SC College. I thank him that he accepted my proposal. I have been saying that there should be a coordination committee of Mahagathbandhan because from April every party of Mahagathbandhan will start preparing. By the end of this month if the coordination committee is not formed I will not move an inch further. Five parties are with us including RLSP, HAM, CPI, Congress, VIP. If RJD doesn't accept our demand, we will form a larger Mahagathbandhan. I will also talk to Mayawati Ji."
"I am not joining JDU. Nitish Ji is CM, and I had gone there to seek help for the development of my constituency. I made a mistake by not meeting him in the past. Recently RJD gave the ticket to a businessman; how many workers does that businessman have? Lalu Ji had himself offered Legislative Council ticket to my son because of necessity and reaped political benefits. I never asked for it. They have betrayed the Congress party by denying them Rajya Sabha ticket. RJD may have declared Tejashwi as CM, it's their personal choice but it has to be decided by the coordination committee. Even Congress has declared Meira Kumar as CM face. Tejashwi is a child, I speak only to his father," he added.
With Bihar Vidhan Sabha elections just six months away, Jitan Ram Manjhi's meeting with Nitish Kumar is an indication that political realignments have started taking shape. Manjhi has threatened to leave Mahagathbandhan after March 30 if the coordination committee is not formed. Lalu and Tejashwi have given enough indication for Manjhi to leave Mahagathbandhan as they are not going to form the coordination committee in the near future.
Manjhi fell out with Nitish Kumar after he was sacked as CM in February 2015 and till a couple of months back Manjhi was a strong critic of Nitish Kumar. Manjhi's meeting with his former boss and mentor Nitish Kumar is an indication that he has already moved closer to the JDU and his public acceptance that he made a mistake by not meeting Nitish Kumar for the last three years, is enough indication of Manjhi returning back to the JDU fold.